Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Award

Fall 2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Department of Integrated Science and Technology

Advisor(s)

Elisabeth Conrad

Louis Cassar

Abstract

The study of landscape quality has not been researched to a significant degree in Malta to date. This qualitative study explores different viewpoints in relation to perceptions of landscape quality, at present and in the future, on the island of Gozo, based on provisions of the European Landscape Convention. The latter, to which Malta is a signatory state, calls for the identification of landscape quality objectives, which should reflect public aspirations. Primary data collection methods, comprising community focus groups and key informant semi-structured interviews were used, together with an extensive document analysis, to understand a range of perceptions of present landscapes in Gozo, and to explore ways in which different stakeholders would like to see landscapes evolve in the future. Landscape quality targets were identified across three time-scales, namely 2, 10 and 30 years from the present. The study found that many of the recent changes in landscape are closely tied to changes in the built environment. Results also demonstrated that landscapes play a key role in shaping people’s identity. Several proposals for ways to avoid further ecological and cultural degradation and to ensure that landscapes provide for the health and well being of future generations were put forward by participants. Eight key landscape quality objectives were identified addressing: (i) village cores, (ii) traditional elements, (iii) economy (iv) functionality (v) ecology (vi) greenery (vii) resources and (viii) tourism. The next step would be the integration of landscape considerations into regional policies so as to broaden the concept of land use planning. This will enhance the role of aesthetics and culture so as to achieve the status of an eco-island and improve the quality of life for its inhabitants

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