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Evaluation for landscape aesthetic value of the Natural World Heritage Site

  • Shangchen Ha
  • Zhaoping YangEmail author
Article

Abstract

The landscape aesthetic value (LAV) is one essential component of outstanding universal value (OUV) for a Natural World Heritage Site (NWHS). In the identification of LAV, there is the subjectivity of methodology suggested by IUCN in the operation manual, and the expert-led evaluation is insufficient for reflecting all observers’ opinions. This study focuses on establishing a universal system combining the subjectivity and objectivity, the experts’ and the public’s opinions to evaluate the LAV of an NWHS. We used the NWHS criteria, the ecological environment, and the viewing experience as established indicators; nine metrics were applied as corresponding layers respectively to map and give a final spatial evaluation based on the ArcGIS overlay analysis with their comprehensive weights from 3 groups of decision makers. In order to verify the rationality of our model, the LAV of a case study in Bayanbulak of NWHS Xinjiang Tianshan has been evaluated. It is demonstrated that central region of Bayanbulak with unique landscape that taking rivers, lakes, and swamps as base interlacing with wetland meadows has particularly high LAV; it basically shows a concentric circle-like distribution feature that LAV decreases from inside to outside and is consistent with practical protection status. This study responds to the UNESCO’s request to monitor and evaluate the OUV of the NWHS; we believe results can provide a useful reference for the planning and decision-making of relevant scenic spots.

Keywords

Evaluation and mapping Landscape aesthetic value Natural World Heritage Site GIS-based spatial overlay analysis Bayanbulak 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This paper is an outcome of the research and development project “Demonstration of monitoring and protection of ecological processes type and landscape aesthetic type natural world heritage sites”, with funding from the Chinese national key research and development program (No.2016YFC0503306). It is also supported by the Western PhD project of the Chinese Academy of Sciences “Study on the protection and development of western Tianshan cross-border natural heritage” (No. 2015-XBQN-B-19).

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and GeographyChinese Academy of SciencesUrumqiChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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