Our study presents a method for assessing the visual quality of post-mining landscapes, empowering the residents of these areas, or a wider range of experts, to take part in the design of new landscapes. The goal of this study was to evaluate respondents’ visual perception of selected relevant physical attributes of mining and post-mining landscapes and to determine the influence of certain sociodemographic characteristics of the respondents on their visual preferences. Based on a spatial image analysis of ground photographsof landscapes included in a questionnaire determining the respondents’ visual preferences, we found that active, non-reclaimed mines contributed fundamentally to a negative evaluation of whole landscape scenes. Built-up areas, another form of human impact on the landscape, did not significantly lower the respondents’ ratings for the scenes. The study confirmed a major positive influence of reclamations in post-mining areas, including those in early successional stages. This effect was increased in reclamations containing mature woody communities. The most important sociodemographic factor proved to be the professional field or study focus of the respondents, which significantly influenced their evaluation of most of the selected physical attributes of the landscape. Visual preferences were also significantly affected by the respondents’ gender and education.
Kamila Svobodova, Petr Sklenicka, Kristina Molnarova and Miroslav Salek. (2012). Visual preferences for physical attributes of mining and post-mining landscapes with respect to the sociodemographic characteristics of respondents, Ecological Engineering, 43, pp. 34-44. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoleng.2011.08.007