Hunziker Marcel

Conflicting expectations and objectives regarding the development of Alpine landscapes: Psychological background, societal mechanisms and possible ways to a sustainable landscape ...
Zielvorstellungen und Konflikte bezüglich der Entwicklung alpiner Landschaften und Lebensräume

Project Number: 4048-064519
Project Type: Research_Project
Project Duration: 02/01/2002 - 10/31/2005 project completed
Funding Source: SNSF ,
Leading Institution: WSL
Project Leader: Dr. Marcel Hunziker
Group Social Sciences in Landscape Research
Eidg. Forschungsanstalt WSL
Zürcherstrasse 111
8903 Birmensdorf
Phone: +41 (0) 44 739 24 59
FAX: +41 (0) 44 739 22 15
e-Mail: marcel.hunziker(at)

related to this project.
for which the project has a relevance.

Social geography and Ecology

Due to the high value of the landscape as an important resource of the Alpine region, in particular regarding tourism, society is called upon to consciously steer the future development of this landscape. Thus, it needs to be established what is expected from the (Alpine) landscape and what qualities it should have. However, the objectives and expectations of the general public are not yet sufficiently well known as to serve as a reliable basis for concrete landscape management strategies.
A first main goal of our study is to fill this gap and to investigate the objectives of different parts of the (Swiss) population regarding the Alpine landscape and its development. Research questions regarding this first aim:
  • How do different actors and parts of the population judge the most likely landscape development scenarios? In this respect, the differences between the Alpine and non-Alpine population are of particular interest.
  • How much and in what respect are the objectives of the different groupings conflicting?
  • What are the driving factors of the scenario judgements? What universal and group-specific objectives of landscape development can be derived from such explanations?
  • In this context: which role does the perceived quality of the everyday landscape of the urban areas play as a predictor for scenario judgement and general landscape objectives?

  • As the "landscape-objectives" of different groups may be diverging, a second main goal is to develop, apply and evaluate suitable methods to foster consensus building regarding these objectives. Research questions regarding the second aim:
  • What contextual and procedural factors can further or hinder the acceptance, handling and success of such a procedure?
  • What are the most relevant success criteria from different points of view, in particular in the view of the (potential) participants?
  • What effect does such a consensus-building procedure have?

  • The project consists of three parts with different methodical approaches:
  • In the inductive part analysis of qualitative data, collected by problem-centred interviews with representatives of different groupings, reveal deep insights into the (different) landscape objectives and their (socio-cultural) driving forces. Furthermore, the conflicts resulting from diverging landscape objectives can be recognised, and consensus criteria established.
  • The deductive part primarily provides representative quantitative data regarding landscape objectives and their (socio-psychological) driving forces. To this end, representative samples of different strata of the Swiss population, as well as of the tourists and residents of two investigation areas, are surveyed by standardised questionnaires (with visualised scenarios of future landscape development in the Alps).
  • In the quasi-experimental part consensus-building procedures are applied. The conduction of these procedures are understood as an intervention-experiment that is evaluated empirically. Procedural aspects are evaluated by process observation and qualitative interviews with participants, the effect is measured by a survey before and after the intervention.

  • Already completed research steps (August 2003)
  • Exploratory interviews with experts regarding Alpine landscapes were conducted resulting in the definition of the most likely future landscape developments (scenarios) of the study area as well as of the whole Alpine region. The interviews also provided knowledge about the relevant interest-groups of the study area and, thus, contribute to the quality of the theoretical sample of the inductive part.
  • A theoretical framework has been developed as a basis for the interview guidelines (inductive part).
  • The conduction of semi-structured interviews (inductive part) with inhabitants of one part of the study area (Albula-valley, GR) has been completed.
  • The most likely and relevant future landscape developments (scenarios) were visualised by photo-editing techniques.
  • An integrative theoretical landscape-preference model has been developed as a basis for the deductive part of research.
  • A standardised questionnaire was developed and sent/handed out to the Swiss population as well as to the inhabitants and summer tourists of the study area. This questionnaire consists of image-rating questions (where the visualised scenarios are judged) and theory-based item scales, which serve to gain knowledge about the reasons of the judgements and to test the proposed theoretical landscape-preference model.
  • The preparation of the quasi-experimental part of the project has been started (selection and generation of item scales).
  • Various transfer activities have already been performed (e.g. newspaper articles, information of the population of the investigation areas, workshops with local/regional authorities and actors).

  • First, preliminary results
    An integrative theoretical model of landscape preferences – the basis for the deductive research part To explain public assessments of future landscape developments an integrative preference model has been developed. This model combines two groups of approaches:
  • One group consists of concepts of the so-called „biological perspective“ such as Kaplan & Kaplan’s information-processing theory (1989) or the attention-restoration theory (Kaplan & Kaplan, 1989; Hartig et al., 1997).
  • The other group of proposed predictors describes the „social perspective“ including the following concepts: place-attachment (Altman & Low, 1992), place-identity (e.g. Breakwell, 1986; Twigger-Ross & Uzzell, 1996), familiarity (e.g. Hammit, 1981), time orientation (Stokols & Jacoby, 1984), political, ecological and economical interests.

    A central, integrating role plays the concept of Bischof (1985). It describes security, arousal and autonomy as basic social emotions, which influence behaviour. Security and arousal show clear similarities to other concepts of the „biological perspective“ as well as the „social perspective“ and, thus, represent in the proposed model the underlying general drivers of landscape preference.

    Evaluation of landscape developments by the inhabitants of one part of the study area – first results of the inductive research part
    The inhabitants of Alvaneu (Albula-valley) generally perceive the past (landscape) developments (e.g. land improvements, increase of tourist infrastructure) and recent projects (e.g. establishment of a golf course, a bath) as something positive. The main precondition for the acceptance of innovations is that they leave the Alpine landscape mostly unchanged, respectively, that their appearance “fits into the place“. Criteria for this “fitting” of newly created landscape elements are primarily their style (traditional vs. modern) and building material (local vs. imported) and secondly the origin of the innovation (autochthonous vs. allochthonous).

    Besides scientific exchange with numerous institutions, programs and persons in Switzerland and on international level, collaboration is performed with the following institutions, programs and projects:
  • Institute for Housing and Urban Research, Uppsala University, Sweden
  • Institute of Psychology, Otto-von-Guericke-University, Magdeburg, Germany
  • Dept. of Geography, University of Zurich, Switzerland
  • Swiss Agency for the Environment, Forest and Landscape (BUWAL), Section Nature and Landscape
  • Cantonal Agencies for Spatial Development and for Nature and Landscape, Grisons, Switzerland
  • Regional Association "MittelbŸnden and Surses", Grisons, Switzerland
  • Communities of the study areas
  • WSL-program "Land resources management in peri-urban environments"
  • EU-Project BIOSCENE (5th frame-work program)
  • SNF-project (not NRP-48) "Spatially explicit valuation of ecosystem services in the Alps as a support tool for regional decision making"
  • NRP-48-projects of the following project leaders: Peter Bebi, Jon Matthieu, Ulrike Müller-Böker, Bea Schwarzwälder, Stephan Pfefferli

    Poster: Conflicting expectations and objectives regarding the development of Alpine landscapes [Marcel Hunziker, (English)]

    Buchecker M. (2005) Public place as a resource of social interaction, in: Turner P., Davenport E. (eds.), Spaces, Spatiality and Technology, Springer, Dordrecht, 79–96.

    Buchecker M., Gehring K., Kianicka S., et al. (2005) Evaluation der soziokulturellen Indikatoren des BUWAL- Leitbildes Landschaft 2020. Definitiver Schlussbericht. Projekt im Auftrag des BUWAL, Durchführung im Rahmen des Projekts «Conflicting expectations and objectives regarding the development of Alpine landscapes and habitats» des Nationalen Forschungsprogramms «Landschaften und Lebensräume der Alpen» (NFP48), WSL, Birmensdorf.

    Buchecker M., Hunziker M. (2006) What is the Effect of Consensus Building Processes on Local Collaboration?, in: Agricultural Economics Review, 7, (1).

    Buchecker M., Hunziker M., Kianicka S., et al. Measuring the effect of consensus building processes with methods of intervention research, Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL), Birmensdorf.

    Buchecker M., Hunziker M., Kienast F. (2003) Participatory landscape development: overcoming social barriers to public involvement, in: Landscape and Urban Planning, 64, 29–46.

    Buchecker M., Kianicka S., Junker B. (2006) Value systems – Drivers of Human-Landscape Interactions, in: Kienast F., Ghosh S., Wildi O. (eds.), A Changing World: Challenges For Landscape Research, Springer Landscape Series, Springer, Berlin.

    Buchecker M., Kianicka S., Junker B. (2007) Value Systems: Drivers of Human-Landscape Interactions, in: Kienast F., Wildi O., Ghosh S. (eds.), A Changing World. Challenges for Landscape Research, 8, Dordrecht, 7–26.

    Duelli P., Baur P., Buchecker M., et al. (2007) The Role of Value Systems in Biodiversity Research, in: Kienast F., Wildi O., Ghosh S. (eds.), A Changing World. Challenges for Landscape Research, 8, Dordrecht, 27–34.

    Felber Rufer P. (2006) Landschaftsveränderung in der Wahrnehmung und Bewertung der Bevölkerung. Eine qualitative Studie in vier Schweizer Gemeinden, Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL), Birmensdorf.

    Forster S., Meier C., Marti K., et al. (2006) Landschaftsentwicklung im Albulatal und im Surses. Handlungsempfehlungen für den Regionalverband Mittelbünden, Synthesebericht aus dem NFP48 Projekt «Zielvorstellungen und -konflikte hinsichtlich alpiner Landschaftsentwicklungen», Fürstenau.

    Gehring K. (2006) Landscape Needs and Notions. Preferences, expectations, leisure motivation, and the concept of landscape from a cross-cultural perspective., Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL), Birmensdorf.

    Gehring K., Hunziker M. (2006) Preferences regarding Landscape Change. From Survey Results to a Leisure-Mobility Model, Poster, Birmensdorf.

    Gehring K., Kianicka S., Buchecker M., et al. (2004) Wer will welche Landschaft in den Alpen, und wie lässt sich ein Konsens darüber finden?, in: Informationsblatt Forschungsbereich Landschaft, 60, Birmensdorf, 6.

    Gehring K., Mosler H.-J., Hunziker M. (submitted) Exploring preferences towards landscape developments in the Swiss Alps: Preference types and their relationship to landscape related demand, in: Landscape and Urban Planning.

    Gehring K., Mosler H.-J., Hunziker M. (submitted) Common Dimensions of Landscape Related Demands – The Feeling of Security, Stimulation and Self-direction, in: Journal of Environmental Psychology.

    Hunziker M. (2002) Alp-Bilder, Alp-Träume, Meinungen, in: Bulletin ETH Zürich, 24, 10–13.

    Hunziker M. (2005) Conflicting expectations and objectives regarding the development of Alpine landscapes. Psychological background, societal mechanisms and possible ways to a sustainable landscape development in the Alps and outside, Final scientific report, Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL), Birmensdorf.

    Hunziker M., Buchecker M., Gehring K., et al. Conflicting Expectations and Objectives Regarding the Development of Alpine Landscape, Poster, Birmensdorf.

    Hunziker M., Gehring K., Buchecker M. (2006) Welche Landschaft wollen wir? Aufschlussreiche Ergebnisse eines NFP-48-Projektes über den Alpenraum, in: Heimatschutz Sauvegarde, 2, 23–25.

    Kianicka S., Buchecker M. (2004) Authenticity Experience in the Swiss Alpine Landscape. «Outside» and «Inside» Gazes, Fifth International Workshop on Sustainable Land-Use Planning, Wageningen University, Wageningen.

    Kianicka S., Buchecker M., Hunziker M., et al. (2006) Locals’ and Tourists’ Sense of Place. A Case Study of a Swiss Alpine Village, in: Mountain Research and Development, 26, (1), 55–63.
    pdf Article

    Kianicka S., Gehring K., Buchecker M., et al. (2004) Wie authentisch ist die Schweizer Alpenlandschaft für uns? Ein Schwerpunkt des NFP48-Projekts «Zielvorstellungen und Konflikte hinsichtlich alpiner Landschaftsentwicklung», in: Bündner Monatsblatt, 2, 196–210.

    Knab L. (2006) Maiensässe in Graubünden. Ein Element des kulturellen Erbes zwischen Erhaltung und Weiterentwicklung. Eine qualitative Fallstudie in Alvaneu und Fanas, Diplomarbeit, Universität Zürich, Zürich.

    Meier C., Marti K. (2004) Zielvorstellungen und -konflikte hinsichtlich alpiner Landschaftsentwicklungen. NFP48-Projekt unter der Leitung von Dr. Marcel Hunziker, Landschafts- und Tourismusentwicklung im Surses, 27. März 2004, Zürich.

    Meier C., Marti K. (2004) Landschaftsentwicklung im Albulatal. Zielvorstellungen und -konflikte hinsichtlich alpiner Landschaftsentwicklungen, Bericht zur Veranstaltung im Alvaneu vom 28./29. November 2003, Zürich.

    Meier C., Marti K. (2004) Landschaftsentwicklung im Surses, Bericht zur Veranstaltung im Surses vom 27. März 2004, Zürich.

    Source of Information: NF Import 2002

    Last update: 7/18/17
    Source of data: ProClim- Research InfoSystem (1993-2024)
    Update the data of project: CH-64519

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