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Do Local Landscape Patterns Affect the Demand for Landscape Amenities Protection?

Felix Schläpfer and Nick Hanley ()

Journal of Agricultural Economics, 2003, vol. 54, issue 1, 21-34

Abstract: Agricultural support is increasingly flowing into the maintenance and improvement of landscape quality. While variations in the demand for landscape protection have been successfully attributed to variations in socio‐economic characteristics, the effect of the local landscape setting as a potential determinant of environmental preferences has received less attention. A framework is formulated that describes public support for regional landscape protection as a function of socio‐economic variables and land use patterns. Models are then estimated using detailed local land use statistics and voting records from a referendum on increasing public funding for local landscape amenities protection in the Swiss canton of Zurich. The land use variables represent proportions of open landscape and landscape features that are viewed as particularly valuable for aesthetic and other reasons. Cross‐sectional estimation results suggest that attitudes towards public landscape protection are indeed strongly associated with the local landscape. Approval for protection programmes increased with local scarcity of open space and with the presence of high‐amenity landscape features. Comparison with referendum outcomes on a national‐level environmental issue suggests that the positive association with high‐amenity landscape features may be partly attributable to individuals' self‐selection of residency.

Date: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:bla:jageco:v:54:y:2003:i:1:p:21-34