iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


How do urban dwellers react to potential landscape changes in recreation areas? A case study with particular focus on the introduction of dendromass in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region

Thiemen Boll   , Christina von Haaren, Christian Albert

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 7, Issue 6, Pages 423-433 (2014)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1173-007
Published: May 19, 2014 - Copyright © 2014 SISEF

Research Articles

Collection/Special Issue: RegioResources21
Spatial information and participation of socio-ecological systems: experiences, tools and lessons learned for land-use planning
Guest Editors: Daniele La Rosa, Carsten Lorz, Hannes Jochen König, Christine Fürst

Recently, many German regions have seen dramatic landscape changes in agricultural areas due to increasing cultivation of bioenergy crops. Especially in regions that are economically dependent on income from recreational use, this development faces opposition by tourist stakeholders, local inhabitants and recreationists. In the future tall bioenergy plants like maize could be replaced by even taller short rotation coppice plantations of willow and poplar. This development raises the question of how people perceive landscape changes and if perceptions are influenced by the landscape where they take place. We surveyed urban residents in the city of Hamburg (n= 400) to see how they perceive potential landscape changes in four recreation areas with different landscape structures in the vicinity of Hamburg (Lüneburg Heath, Harburg Hills, Elbe Marshes and Altes Land). The survey showed that people rated changes significantly different, depending on the specific landscape type of the recreation areas. The survey did not show a clear general preference for reducing or increasing forests. However, the landscape character of each recreation area had a strong influence on the acceptance of landscape changes by planting forests, hedges, and shrubs. People showed a significantly higher negative reaction towards more forests in open landscapes characterized by heath and meadows than in landscapes with a higher share of forests and fields. Interestingly, the introduction of hedges and shrubs was evaluated differently from the introduction of forests depending on the type of open landscape. People preferred the introduction of hedges and shrubs in the landscape rich in meadows and pastures while they rejected the introduction of hedges and shrubs in a historic cultural landscape rich in heathland. In view of these results we recommend that the landscape character and the cultivation system are considered in the assessment and determination of potential short rotation coppice production sites. This may considerably increase the acceptability of dendromass cultivation for energy purposes.


Landscape Changes, Recreation, Landscape Character, Visual Landscape, Dendromass, Short Rotation Coppice, Agriculture, Forestry

Authors’ address

Thiemen Boll
Christina von Haaren
Christian Albert
Institute of Environmental Planning, Leibniz University Hannover, Herrenhäuser Str. 2, D-30419 Hannover (Germany)

Corresponding author



Boll T, von Haaren C, Albert C (2014). How do urban dwellers react to potential landscape changes in recreation areas? A case study with particular focus on the introduction of dendromass in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region. iForest 7: 423-433. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1173-007

Academic Editor

Marco Borghetti

Paper history

Received: Oct 31, 2013
Accepted: Mar 19, 2014

First online: May 19, 2014
Publication Date: Dec 01, 2014
Publication Time: 2.03 months

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