|Ph.D Student||Rechtman Orly|
|Subject||A Model for Visual Evaluation of Mediterranean Open|
Landscapes in Israel
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisor||Professor Shaul Amir|
1. Rapid development that characterizes many countries in the western world, including Israel, has generated far-reaching change in the landscape's visual character, leading to increased awareness of its preservation as part of the regional ecological systems. The existing knowledge of the visual diversity in Israeli landscapes is limited. The main aim of the study was to develop an applicable method for the visual characterization of the open Mediterranean landscape in Israel.
The main research findings are as follows:
1. The method developed in this study is found as an effective tool for characterizing visual types that record the open Mediterranean landscape in Israel. It yielded visual information that includes detailed knowledge of the physical landscape and reflects details discerned by the viewers, together with knowledge of their esthetic preferences in this landscape.
2. Existing method for the visual assessment of the landscape developed abroad, was found not to be suitable for detailed characterization of the local landscape. The model that developed in this study was found to better deal with a more detailed - specific conditions and unique landscape attributes.
3. Viewers discern the visual details that comprise the total landscape. Examination of the level of differentiation indicates findings that can contribute to developing models for the visual analysis of the landscape, based on identifying visual details discerned by the viewers.
4. Examination of the levels of preference for visual types of landscape indicates the following findings:
· A general trend was identified preferring landscapes that embody naturalness, large quantity of vegetation, complexity and dramatic, instead of built components, barren scenery, monotony, minor, and disharmony in the appearance.
· Agricultural areas contribute to the visual quality of the open Mediterranean landscape. Dividing the area into regular lots that include a combination of crops, manifesting order and high complexity, was identified as the most preferred type of agricultural landscape.
· A positive correlation was found between the levels of preference for visual individual types, and between the variables from which the visual type is composed.
The study's main contribution is in developing a method that are suitable for visual characterization of the open Mediterranean landscape in Israel, and in expanding the knowledge dealing with the public's esthetic preferences for this landscape. This kind of knowledge can afford a basis for managing the visual resource in open areas in Israel, which is currently unavailable to those dealing with their management.