Perceived Quality of Scenic and Recreational Environments

Some Methodological Issues
  • Robert O. Brush
Part of the Environmental Science Research book series (ESRH, volume 9)


Widespread concern has been expressed over the inadequacy of purely objective, physical measures of environmental quality. To enhance the habitability of our planet we need to consider cultural as well as physical and biological components of the complex environment that influence the lives of individuals and communities (Thomas, 1972). In man’s relation to the biosphere, we must deal with a “real” world that does not have the same objective reality for all observers; we must deal with a subjectively perceived environment (UNESCO, 1973). An individual’s view of the world, influenced as it is by his own perception and learning, differs from the view held by scientific experts, yet the concept of the world-as-perceived has considerable value in humanizing the quantitative, objective approach to managing our environment (Lowenthal, 1961). Those responsible for formulating policies, and any expert group, should become aware of their own perceptual and conceptual bias by comparing it with the views of those whose lives are affected by the policies (UNESCO, 1973). Moreover, observer-based evaluations of environmental quality should be considered at the outset along with physical measures so that we do not develop imperfect standards that abstract only the physical, purely objective components of environmental quality (Craik & McKechnie, 1974).


Outdoor Recreation Landscape Architect Preferential Judgment Scenic Beauty Urban Scene 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert O. Brush
    • 1
  1. 1.USDA Forest ServiceUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstUSA

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