new banner

Services of Scenic Solutions
Completed landscape projects
Papers and Presentations
Beautiful landscapes discussion
Australian and International studies of landscape quality
The science of scenery
Landscape miscellany
Landscape resources
About Dr Andrew Lothian
Contact us
Site map

For other segments of the Science of Scenery, click here:


Click on the following topics:


The following are links to some organisations and sites that are relevant to landscape quality assessment.


World Heritage Convention

The World Heritage Convention includes sites nominated on the basis of the criterion that it contains "superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance".

European Landscape Convention

The European Landscape Convention is the first convention to focus exclusively on landscapes. It was developed by the Council of Europe and promotes landscape protection, management and planning, and European co-operation on landscape issues. The Convention defines landscape as “An area, as perceived by people, whose character is the result of the action and interaction of natural and/or human factors.” (Council of Europe 2000). The Convention was adopted in October 2000 and entered into force in March 2004. The Convention secretariat has produced various publications. The Convention adopts the innovative starting point that its aspirations apply everywhere, to the whole landscape. Protection may be particularly applied to especially beautiful or apparently natural areas within the landscape, but the Convention’s focus is on ordinary, ‘everyday’ landscape, even with landscape that may be perceived as spoiled or damaged. It regards landscape as a product of people’s perceptions, created in the eyes, minds and hearts of beholders by treating the material, ‘real’ components of our environment as raw material for memory and association, understanding and interpretation (with acknowledgement to Natural England and English Heritage)

United Kingdom

English Heritage

English Heritage is mainly involved in historic and archaeological heritage but has an interest in cultural landscapes and has conducted landscape investigations of areas containing sites and monuments. It is also carrying out the Historic Landscape Characterisation programme which also focuses on the historic landscape.

Landscape Research Group

The Landscape Research Group is based in Britain but with global membership. It encourages an exchange of ideas about landscape and promotes research and practices that engage landscape and environment. It sponsors public programs and conferences and publishes the Routeledge Journal Landscape Research. It also issues LR Extra, a newsletter to promote interdisciplinary thought and dialogue on landscape issues.

Macaulay Land Use Research Institute

The Macaulay Land Use Research Institute (now part of the James Hutton Institute), based in Aberdeen, Scotland, is an international centre for research and consultancy on the environmental and social consequences of rural land uses. It has conducted research on landscape issues, particularly in relation to wind farms.

Natural England

Natural England is the successor of the Countryside Commission and the Countryside Agency. Its role is to "conserve and enhance the natural environment, for its intrinsic value, the wellbeing and enjoyment of people and the economic prosperity that it brings." It has classified England into National Character Areas on the basis of landscape character and has carried out Landscape Character Assessments across England. The former Countryside Agency combined with English Nature to produce the Character of England map.

United States

Landscape Values and PPGIS Institute

The Landscape Values and PPGIS Institute is an institute of researchers and planners with expertise and experience in mapping, interpreting, or using landscape value and special place information for land use planning and decision making. PPGIS stands for Public Participation Geographic Information System. The Institute website is maintained by Professor Greg Brown at Central Washington University at Ellensburg, Washington State. and includes many of their publications.

Scenic America

Despite its name, this site is mainly about opposing billboards, telecommunication towers, trees and utility wires. The text below is the introduction to the site:

Throughout the country, our most cherished scenic resources and hometown assets are being obscured by a blizzard of monstrous billboards, badly sited telecommunications towers, a tangle of overhead lines, and a hodgepodge of visual clutter. Open space is being lost. Our natural and cultural heritage is being buried under unconstrained development and poorly designed transportation systems. America's beauty and community character are being obliterated by a steel curtain of visual spam. But at Scenic America, we believe we have a choice about how we want to live.
Change is inevitable. Ugliness is not.


Australian Heritage Council

The Australian Heritage Council is the principal adviser to the Australian Government on heritage matters. The Council assesses nominations for the National Heritage List and the Commonwealth Heritage List. The Council also maintains the Register of the National Estate.

National Trust of Australia

The Victorian ( and South Australian ( Branches of the National Trust were leading advocates of landscape assessment and protection in Australia, having initiated many of the early studies.

Note: The inclusion of sites and organisations in this list is provided as a service and in no way implies endorsement of their products and services. Details of additional relevant organisations are welcome.


An extensive literature exists on studies of landscape quality. This site provides access to Australian studies and to the international literature. Click here for references.

Go to top


© 2009-14 Scenic Solutions   Privacy   Terms of Service   Site Map   Contact us