Local residents' perceptions of energy landscape: the case of transmission lines
Soini, Katriina; Pouta, Eija; Salmiovirta, Maija; Uusitalo, Marja; Kivinen, Tapani (2011)
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Land use policy
Although the transmission line network is relatively comprehensive in many countries, there are new needs to develop the networks due to the increased consumption of energy and new decentralized energy sources. However, compared with other large-scale infrastructure in the landscape, there has been relatively little research on the perceptions of transmission lines. Consequently, the aim of this study was to analyse how transmission lines are perceived in comparison with other landscape elements and how the perceptions of existing transmission lines differ from those concerning new lines. Finally, the heterogeneity of the perceptions was examined with the aid of the latent class method. The study was based on survey data from an urban fringe community in southern Finland. The results confirmed the presupposition that transmission lines are generally perceived as negative landscape elements, both when long-established and when new. However, the perceptions among the residents were heterogeneous. This heterogeneity was explained with environmental attitudes and leisure activities as well as knowledge and land ownership. The results have implications for planning, public communication and participation related to transmission lines, as well as other visually dominating man-made structures in the landscape.
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