It is argued that the greatest single and most important tourist and recreational asset of the south-east Queensland region is its open space. An important element of open space is its scenic resources. How people perceive and react to landscapes can be a complex process. The value that they give to landscapes can likewise be the result of a complex and often subjective appreciation and decision-making process. As the population of SEQ grows, and the pressures to develop remaining open space increases, improved and responsive approaches to the management of these important regional resources are required. In particular, objective, transparent and repeatable approaches for the assessment of the scenic amenity of open space are required. Essentially, a bottom-up approach will be required to account for how the community values the aesthetics of landscapes.
This report draws from two recently completed projects sponsored by the Regional Landscape Strategy: the Moggill Scenic Amenity Pilot Study and the Glen Rock Scenic Amenity Study.
The Moggill Scenic Amenity Pilot Study has taken an innovative approach to measuring community appreciation of landscape aesthetics. For the first time in south-east Queensland, the fundamental assumptions about how people perceive and respond to the landscape have been revisited and confirmed. This information has then been linked through to maps that show the location of the landscapes that people prefer, and which most people will experience. This approach provides information that can be directly incorporated into the planning process for use by planners and decision-makers for policy determination and planning directions and guidance. The Glen Rock Scenic Amenity Study, which followed the same approach as the Moggill study, has shown that the techniques are transferable to other locations and communities.
This study provides a significant move forward to understanding which areas of open space provide benefit to the people of our region. It is the desire of those involved in the Regional Landscape Strategy that a consistent philosophical and methodological approach be adopted for the assessment and protection of landscapes in south-east Queensland with regionally significant scenic amenity.