Landscape Design Intensity and Its Associated Complexity of Forest Landscapes in Relation to Preference and Eye Movements
College of Architecture and Planning, Fujian University of Technology, Fuzhou 350108, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2023, 14(4), 761; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14040761 (registering DOI)
Received: 19 January 2023
Revised: 24 March 2023
Accepted: 2 April 2023
Published: 7 April 2023
Understanding how people perceive landscapes is essential for the design of forest landscapes. The study investigates how design intensity affects landscape complexity, preference, and eye movements for urban forest settings. Eight groups of twenty-four pictures, representing lawn, path, and waterscape settings in urban forests, with each type of setting having two groups of pictures and one group having four pictures, were selected. The four pictures in each group were classified into slight, low, medium, and high design intensities. A total of 76 students were randomly assigned to observe one group of pictures within each type of landscape with an eye-tracking apparatus and give ratings of complexity and preference. The results indicate that design intensity was positively associated with subjective landscape complexity but was positively or negatively related to objective landscape complexity in three types of settings. Subjective landscape complexity was found to significantly contribute to visual preference across landscape types, while objective landscape complexity did not contribute to preference. In addition, the marginal effect of medium design intensity on preference was greater than that of low and high design intensity in most cases. Moreover, although some eye movement metrics were significantly related to preference in lawn settings, none were found to be indicative predictors for preference. The findings enrich research in visual preference and assist landscape designers during the design process to effectively arrange landscape design intensity in urban forests.
Chinese urbanization has opened up numerous opportunities to expand urban forests. However, a major challenge to landscape designers in China is designing forest landscapes that meet the demands and preferences of the general public. Understanding public perceptions and preferences is critical for effective landscape …
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