iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Communicating spatial planning decisions at the landscape and farm level with landscape visualization

Bartlett Warren-Kretzschmar   , Christina Von Haaren

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 7, Issue 6, Pages 434-442 (2014)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1175-007
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

Landscape visualizations have the potential to support participatory environmental planning at different spatial scales and decision levels from international to farm level. However, it is yet unclear what specific demands are relevant for visualization on the different decision levels. In this context more knowledge is needed about visualization objectives and the respective tasks, intended effects and suitable techniques for the specific levels. Especially the farm level has been neglected in research, although farmers make many decisions that affects public interests in the visual landscape. Farmers need to communicate these decisions to the public in an understandable way. The question of how visualization can support participation in the planning process at the municipal level is examined in this paper by drawing on the findings of the Interactive Landscape Plan Koenigslutter, Germany (IALP) about the preferences and reactions of citizens to visualizations used in the landscape planning process at the local decision level. On this basis, we examined the applicability and differences of the findings for the farm level. Furthermore, in order to explore visualization opportunities at the farm scale, the farm management system MANUELA was used as an example of an information platform that could serve as a basis for farm scale visualizations. By transferring landscape planning results to the farm level, we developed recommentations about the application of visualization, intended effects and appropriate techniques at the farm scale. The general findings for the municipal level show that visualization can improve participation by providing participants with a common image of the planning proposals for discussion and collaborative decisions. Different visualization methods offer different capabilities for supporting participation in the different planning phases. At the farm scale, 2D visualizations and diagrams are often sufficient to communicate information to customers about farm performance for providing ecosystem services. They may consist of maps and supporting information that is easily generated from GIS data. However, for a higher (more interactive) level of communication and participation activities, such as discussions with affected neighbors about land use changes or the integration of citizens’ proposals, more sophisticated visualization techniques would be required. Visualization techniques are needed that farmers can use to easily simulate visual impacts of land use changes at the landscape scale.


Landscape Planning, Participatory Planning, Landscape Visualization, Farm Scale, Ecosystem Services, MANUELA

Authors’ address

Bartlett Warren-Kretzschmar
Christina Von Haaren
Institute of Environmental Planning, Leibniz University Hannover, Herrenhäuser Str. 2, D-30419 Hannover (Germany)

Corresponding author

Bartlett Warren-Kretzschmar


Warren-Kretzschmar B, Von Haaren C (2014). Communicating spatial planning decisions at the landscape and farm level with landscape visualization. iForest 7: 434-442. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1175-007

Academic Editor

Marco Borghetti

Paper history

Received: Oct 31, 2013
Accepted: Apr 05, 2014

First online: May 19, 2014
Publication Date: Dec 01, 2014
Publication Time: 1.47 months

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