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

Theano S. Terkenli, Aikaterini Gkoltsiou and Dimitris Kavroudakis ()
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Theano S. Terkenli: Department of Geography, University of the Aegean University Hill, Mytilene, 81100 Lesvos, Greece
Aikaterini Gkoltsiou: Department of Geography, University of the Aegean University Hill, Mytilene, 81100 Lesvos, Greece

Land, 2021, vol. 10, issue 1, 1-19

Abstract: 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.

Keywords: landscape character assessment; meta-analysis; subjective vs. objective; quantitative vs. qualitative (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q15 Q2 Q24 Q28 Q5 R14 R52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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