|Ph.D Student||Misgav Ayala|
|Subject||A Method for Evaluation of the Visual Characteristics of|
Vegetation Groups in Israel
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisor||Professor Shaul Amir|
The objectives of this research are to classify and evaluate the visual quality of selected native and planted vegetation groups in Israel, and identify the degree of visual preference by selected groups of users.
One of the country’s unique natural resources is its vegetation groups and their visual diversity. An accelerated rate of development in the country often causes a negative impact to this resource. This threat requires the setting of a policy and management program to insure the protection of its visual and ecological quality.
The study attempts to answer two related questions:
(1) To what degree does a select public distinguish visually between vegetation groups, and on which physical properties of the individual plant in the group is this distinction based.
(2) What type of vegetation landscapes are preferred by the public and on which physical properties of the individual plant in the group is this preference based.
Method: The data used to answer the above questions was collected through the use of personal interviews using a formal questionnaire. The quantative data was analyzed using statistical methods that enabled descriptive analysis, factor analysis and examination of one and multifactor hypotheses.
Findings: Analysis of data on the first research question led to the conclusion that existing botanical-ecological classification of vegetation groups is a suitable basis for evaluation of visual qualities of vegetation landscapes in Israel.
Analysis of the data on the second question indicated different levels of preference. The public most preferred the landscapes of planted forest or natural park-like groupings and less the landscape in which man’s intervention was minimal, such as in the Garique and native scrub forest landscape.
The findings show also the existence of a high correlation between the level of preference to vegetation groups and the level of preference to physical properties of characteristics present in the same groups.
This study has contributed to future vegetation studies in two ways:
(a) The suggested evaluation method that was used in the evaluation of public distinction and preference to different vegetation land use proved to be workable;
(b) The findings of the visual preferences of the public to selected vegetation groups provided an empirically tested basis for making policy and planning decisions on the management of vegetation resources in Israel.