A Discrete Choice Experiment to Elicit People’s Preferences for Semi-Arid Riparian Corridors: A Multinomial Logit Model

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2023-05
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Abstract

The aim of this study is to examine public preferences for urban riparian corridors in arid regions using simulation and visual quality analysis scenarios. Ecological landscapes are often subject to trade-offs with aesthetic landscapes that include micro and macro environmental factors such as manicured landscapes. It is suggested that there is a preference for aesthetics in landscape design; however, it is unclear how laypeople prioritize aesthetics over different ecological factors in landscape scenes. This study uses a Discrete Choice Experiment (DCE) to elicit the preferences of current or former residents of Jeddah City, Saudi Arabia, for multiple landscape scenes. The method combines ecological landscape characteristics (adopted from the QBR index) found in the study area in Jeddah and aesthetic characteristics commonly suggested in landscape design projects. Participants in this study were exposed to a set of illustrated landscape scenes, including various aesthetic and ecological elements configurations. Participants’ choices revealed the influence of their ecological and aesthetic values. Results show that people may prefer unmaintained ecological landscapes if minimal design interventions were provided. This will prevent trading off the ecological unmaintained landscape with aesthetically maintained landscapes within the study area. This study will help researchers and landscape architects advance visual preference research further into the domain of empirical studies. It presents a new powerful technique to elicit the preference of an individual element in landscape scenes, which improves the precision of community-based decision-making.

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Discrete choice experiment, Choice-based conjoint, Multinomial logit model, Ecosystem services, Resilient green infrastructure
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