The Interplay of Objectivity and Subjectivity in Landscape Character Assessment: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches and Challenges | Land Portal

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Date of publication: 
January 2021
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© 2021 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article.

Landscape character assessment (LCA) methods have been used in the past few decades to analyze, classify, and map landscape types, using objective and subjective approaches, with the aid of both quantitative and qualitative data. This paper addresses and critically evaluates the compromises and ways in which contemporary LCA methodologies employ (or profess they employ) objective versus subjective and quantitative versus qualitative data and analytical tools, in their conceptualization and implementation. It begins with an extensive literature review of the ways in which the objective/subjective and the quantitative/qualitative variables interweave in currently practiced or proposed versions of LCA. With the aid of meta-analysis, the paper traces and discusses the recent evolution, methods, concessions, and risks of such endeavors, and develops an integrative conceptual model for critical assessment, analysis, and negotiation of the interplay between objective-subjective and quantitative-qualitative constituent parts of existing LCA methodologies. It concludes by pointing to pitfalls and prospects, in the broader attempt towards a more concerted, integrative approach to LCA development and practice, both appropriate to its challenges and adaptable to time-space-culture-discipline landscape particularities and means of implementation.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Terkenli, Theano S.
Gkoltsiou, Aikaterini
Kavroudakis, Dimitris


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