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Di Ruocco, I.; D’auria, A.; D’alterio, R.R.; De Rosa, A. The Relevance of Perception in Landscape Framework. Encyclopedia. Available online: (accessed on 21 June 2024).
Di Ruocco I, D’auria A, D’alterio RR, De Rosa A. The Relevance of Perception in Landscape Framework. Encyclopedia. Available at: Accessed June 21, 2024.
Di Ruocco, Irina, Alessio D’auria, Rosaria Rossana D’alterio, Agostino De Rosa. "The Relevance of Perception in Landscape Framework" Encyclopedia, (accessed June 21, 2024).
Di Ruocco, I., D’auria, A., D’alterio, R.R., & De Rosa, A. (2023, May 20). The Relevance of Perception in Landscape Framework. In Encyclopedia.
Di Ruocco, Irina, et al. "The Relevance of Perception in Landscape Framework." Encyclopedia. Web. 20 May, 2023.
The Relevance of Perception in Landscape Framework

The relationship with bicycle infrastructure is lacking in current empirical research on user perceptions, which, on the contrary, studies emphasize aesthetic quality or visual surveys.  As the cycling infrastructure is a key area for commuting, shopping, entertainment, and recreation in urban communities, a thorough understanding of users’ perceptions of the environment is needed. Landscape and bicycle infrastructure cause a different perception as psychological factors interact based on the function of use. Bicycle spaces are small, enclosed, and lack contact with nature because they are often designed with inappropriate criteria. The bicycle infrastructure is seen in full harmony and potential with the landscape if there is contact with nature. These physical elements affect the sorts of landscape- or user-oriented policies and procedures that attempt to increase user satisfaction levels for the former and landscape promotion for the latter, in addition to cultural and psychological considerations.

landscape user perception  landscape user perception landscape user perception cycling infrastructure

1. Introduction

As Porteous [1] has observed, “Psychologists, urban designers, landscape architects and advertisers all stress vision as the chief mode of knowing about the world. So much so, indeed, that when using the term perception, it almost always means ‘visual perception’”.
Cycling is a type of motion, and greenway bikers frequently pedal at speeds ranging from 10 to 25 km/h, transforming the greenway into a fast-moving landscape [2]. This varies from prior visual perception studies on moving objects [3][4], in that bikers are moving subjects. The cyclist–environment interaction can also alter depending on the pedaling speed, viewing direction, and angle of sight [5][6].
Most of the current studies on the greenway bicycling environment are based on a thorough assessment of the components of the bicycling environment and the subjective evaluations of bicyclists [7]. The difficulty with studies of bicycling on greenways lies in users’ perceptions that bicycling on greenways and other physical activities are not fully considered soft mobility and that the effects of landscape features on bicycling are insufficient. Quantitative analyses of the environmental components of cognitive appraisal are insufficient [8][9]. The small number of case studies with sufficient consideration of bicyclists’ behavioral perceptions and evaluations limits the evaluation of the bicycling environment. The user participates in the landscape and environment by incorporating various factors. This includes the visual approach. Visual perception is a physiological function that provides the user with a sense of well-being, safety, and belonging. In the field of landscape, the study of visual perception essentially explores the nature of beauty (liking, attractiveness, or preference).
Another means of evaluating landscapes is through the interaction between the environment and the user. Landscape evaluation is inseparable from the analysis of multisensory elements, especially visual elements [10]. There are two research problems related to the visual perception of cycling infrastructure: the first one lies in the identification of physical elements for visual perception, as not all types of visual information can be accurately identified on the bicycle route [11].

2. The Relevance of Perception in Landscape Framework

2.1. Users, Landscape, and Sustainable Mobility

In the crucial field of visual aesthetic quality (VAQ), which is a natural resource base for human physical and psychological health [12][13], the assessment of the relationship between bicycle paths and the landscape is relevant in safeguarding cultural heritage [14].
Regarding landscape protection, many scholars have shown over the years how impact assessment can help to analyze the interactions between humans and the landscape around them, while providing additional value for sustainable development projects for the use of territories whose landscapes serve distinct functions depending on their geophysical and socioeconomic characteristics.
However, the landscape is characterized by multifunctionality, so that its study and analysis have been conducted in various fields, such as architecture, cultural anthropology, and law [15].
This is especially the case for urban centers, which are a key part of cultural tourism in Europe, since the movement of visitors is mainly concentrated in large urban centers and old towns, and the flow of tourists also produces consequences so that, in major European cities, a concern has arisen regarding the negative effects that a large influx of tourists may have, because of the sudden increase in tourists in urban areas and the explosion of rental accommodation for tourism purposes [16].
The science of sustainability, together with the international programs of the United Nations, aims to encourage the correct use of human actions and the improvement of life, which includes, among other aspects, a greater constructive collaboration between humans and nature and a connection between near and far urban and rural areas. This science also promotes connections between people, reducing the ecological footprint.
Landscape qualities are considered fundamental to urban development and user well-being. Many infrastructure-related environments are undergoing significant changes, so it is essential to study and identify users’ landscape perceptions and evaluations in relation to landscape planning, maintenance, and restoration.
Many authors argue that progress must be made toward more sustainable urban planning that protects the surrounding landscape and natural resources in general, with landscape, energy, and transportation as the main parameters [17]. Because the issue of sustainability is topical internationally, there have been numerous in-depth studies and research projects conducted by leading international experts around the world. Critical studies have called attention to a few issues with resilience processes and evaluation techniques, questioning, for instance, the resilience pathways’ frequently implicit linearity [18].
Regarding transportation, soft mobility, i.e., soft, or rather slow modes of travel that are compatible with the new vision of a sustainable community, still have a latent connection for academic research with the landscape. Soft mobility, as Chapman [19] points out, is a type of mobility that occurs in contact with open areas and places and is influenced by the urban structure.
Thus, sustainable mobility is closely related to other goals regarding sustainable development; this category is composed of several areas, such as accessibility and safety, which contribute to the creation of sustainable cities and are also important for the evolution of infrastructure and achieving energy that is clean and affordable [20].
The role of sustainable infrastructure is to increase the resilience of ecosystems, which in turn affects human well-being and perception: social interactions take place within a landscape, and therefore the landscape, if in a state of neglect, can negatively affect social interactions and thus perception itself.
Furthermore, between mobility and health, there is a close link in that an intervention in the field of mobility can be understood as a moment of improvement in public health, so that increased cities have decided to implement systems and interventions to address urban mobility. This has allowed the creation of a model of mobility that is usually extended on a global scale and that is characterized by displacements due to different motivations and by a shift in production activities.
Through the analysis of different analysis, urban areas consume a large part of the natural resources on the planet, and, for this reason, efforts must be made to create a new model of cities that is as sustainable as possible. This is why, nowadays, public interventions aimed at creating urban areas and environmentally friendly ways of moving have entered the scope of debate, so that increased governments are concerned with reconfiguring public spaces by including new routes intended for the passage of bicycles.
From this, it can be deduced that the landscape has always been a fundamental element as an expression of a community’s characteristics through its buildings and morphology, but that, today, its perception has changed as we look at the landscape as something to be preserved. This is where the domain of soft mobility arises—through the creation of bike paths and less polluting means of transportation, and sustainable infrastructure projects that can coexist with new green areas such as gardens, parks, etc.

2.2. Guidelines for Mobility Integration within Landscape Framework

By analyzing various testimonies, Europe is continuously proposing guidelines for sustainable mobility.
Such guidelines concerning mobility and landscape sustainability are emblematic of new thinking on issues concerning the landscape, concerned also with users’ perceptions, giving rise to new strategies adopted at both national and local levels.
Indicators reflecting users' impressions of their travels must be added to the new, forecasted interventions in the region through bicycle infrastructure, which are mostly derived from landscape, environmental, and cultural heritage management concerns. 
To date, there are many parameters and tools available to assess the perception of the landscape and the well-being that users achieve when looking at it, including the second edition of the European Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs).
These works [21][22] aims to achieve continuing developments in the fields of urban mobility regarding the experience achieved through the implementation of a sustainable urban mobility plan.
A SUMP is a strategic approach that can help to effectively address urban transportation issues to improve quality of life. A SUMP, therefore, advocates for a decision-making process that is based primarily on a long-term vision of soft and sustainable mobility.
Based on this, it is understood that there is a need for detailed assessments regarding the current state and potential future implications, and that this approach is designed to pursue the objectives of
  • Planning for sustainable mobility in the urban area;
  • Cooperating by going beyond institutional boundaries, by involving citizens as well as all stakeholders;
  • Evaluating current functionality and functionality in the future;
  • Creating a vision that is long-term, with a precise plan of action;
  • Developing means of mobilization in the urban area;
  • Creating a precise implementation plan;
  • Organizing monitoring arrangements and setting up a parametric evaluation;
  • Conducting quality assurance of the project.
the sumps plan considers the relationship with the landscape takes on a more influential role, as SUMPs consider citizens in relation to their surroundings, and thus the spatial extent should always be based on the idea of a "functional urban area." As a result of this premise, sustainable planning has its foundation in the flow of people and the integration of infrastructure into the environment. As a result, a transportation system that depends on cooperation to ensure that the SUMP is in harmony with the policies and plans of the aspects that accompany transportation, such as land use and land use planning, is created. SUMPs aim to improve accessibility and develop soft mobility for the entire urban area.
Therefore, it can be said that the SUMPs' objectives make it clear that any investment made in building a bicycle infrastructure should take into account what is established in the SUMPs, and that all projects should be created to fit into an urban mobility strategy that is consistent with land use decisions.

Bike sharing, a relatively new and developing mode of sustainable transportation that may provide riders with a high degree of well-being and a low-carbon lifestyle, supports this. This kind of mobility has benefits including flexibility, cost savings, and improved health.
Today, the different iterations of bike sharing are separated into two categories: docked, which is a service with several places for bicycle parking, and dockless, which is a service that allows bicycles to be placed anywhere.

However, this mode of travel is, similarly to the traditional ones, also influenced by the built environment into which it enters, so, if the urban center is not functional for this type of mobility, there is a need for the system to evolve and be able to coexist with public transport. To better understand the actual benefits and devise a strategic plan to improve the service, there is a need to conduct analyses, first on the bikeshare station and then on the travel experience. The first type of analysis seeks to investigate the usage patterns of such stations, while the second allows a deeper understanding of aspects of each trip, such as the pace, duration, and the well-being experienced [23].


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