Understanding public perceptions of landscape A case study from Gozo, Malta

Elisabeth Conrad, Mike Christie, Ioan Fazey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


The European Landscape Convention (ELC) establishes public participation as both an instrumental and substantive goal Indeed the ELC defines the very notion of landscape as an area as perceived by people There is thus an Important role to be played by perception research in determining how the ELC can best be Implemented in practical terms The present paper aims to assess how an understanding of public perception can usefully Inform local implementation of the European landscape Convention To address this aim we use a case study on the island of Gozo (Malta) An Internet survey mechanism was used to identify public views on the concept of landscape and aspects of landscape character and change Results were evaluated with reference to (I) coherence between the ELC and public views and (II) local capacity to participate in decision-making Findings indicate that the notion of landscape in public understanding does not fully reflect the concept and scope of the ELC However substantial knowledge of and interest in landscape matters was apparent amongst the public and there was also significant consensus across different respondent groups The study highlighted key areas of concern for implementation of the ELC including the need for improved communication between policy-makers and the public and the need to address the perceived ineffectiveness of public participation mechanisms (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-170
Number of pages12
JournalApplied Geography
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011


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