Rural identity and landscape aesthetics in exurbia: Some issues to resolve from a Central European perspective

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Although perceptions of landscape aesthetics are currently attracting great research interest, some aspects of the topic have remained almost unexamined. This review highlights some less studied areas that are of particular importance for landscape management, with special focus on rapidly growing exurban areas. While the visual quality of the environment is undoubtedly one of the drivers that has been spurring the exurban development of rural settlements, much remains unknown about the perception of the visual quality of these settlements. Another pressing issue is the need to determine general principles of consensus formation concerning visual landscape preferences. This study concludes that in order to preserve the rural character of exurban landscapes, there is an urgent need to identify the aesthetic values that define the character of rural settlements and their importance to the stakeholder groups.

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