Bieling, Claudia2; Plieninger, Tobias4; Pirker, Heidemarie3; Vogl, Christian R.3
1 Landscape Architecture and Planning, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet2 University of Freiburg, Institute of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Chair for Landscape Management3 University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU), Department of Sustainable Agricultural Systems, Division of Organic Farming, Working Group Knowledge Systems and Innovation4 Landscape Architecture and Planning, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet
An empirical exploration with short interviews
Human well-being is tightly linked to the natural environment. Although this notion is well-established, it remains difficult to assess how the biophysical features of a specific area contribute towards the well-being of the people attached to it. We explore this topic using the case of four areas in Germany and Austria by performing open, single-question interviews with 262 respondents. Data reveal an outstanding relevance of nonmaterial values. Linkages between landscapes and human well-being are tied to specific features of the material environment but, likewise, practices and experiences play an important role in the creation and acknowledgment of such values. Our results accord with the conceptual outline of the cultural values model but fit to a lesser degree into the ecosystem services framework. Due to the high relevance of experiential factors, providing manifold opportunities for people to engage with their natural surroundings should be considered a strategy for fostering human well-being.
Ecological Economics, 2014, Vol 105, p. 19-30
Black Forest; Cultural ecosystem services; Hohe Tauern; Landscape values; Swabian Alb; Upper Lusatia