Landschapswaardering door hondenbezitters
MetadataShow full item record
The aim of this thesis is to contribute to the knowledge on landscape experience, by describing and understanding how dog owners appreciate the natural landscape themselves. The research question is: “How do dog owners appreciate the landscape of natural areas and how can this be explained?” This question has been answered by conducting twelve interviews with dog owners living in the Netherlands. Analysis of the interviews showed that important factors that increase landscape appreciation are the presence of animals, off-the-leash areas and water. Crowding is an important aspect that decreases landscape appreciation of dog owners. Contrary to expectations, few participants named a wide variation of routes and the condition of the paths as important features of natural areas. Appreciation of the landscape by the participants, for an important part, is driven by four main needs: security and harmony, the dog’s wellbeing, own pleasure and convenience. Cognitive factors do also influence appreciation in various ways. For some participants, frequent visits to a natural area indicates and increases place attachment. This can increase appreciation. However, the link between cognitive factors and landscape appreciation was not as evident and consistent in all twelve interviews as the link with motivational factors. Finally, a particular aspect of the dog owners’ way of walking can affect landscape appreciation as well. As a result of the routine nature of their walking, the participants have a keen eye for changes in the area and ephemeral features. Many participants argue that spotting (small) animals makes their routine walk a lot more interesting. This thesis offered a first exploration on how dog owners appreciate the natural landscape. The findings can help to build guidelines for user-centred (re)design of natural areas. This thesis could also be a starting point for quantitative research on the subject. Further research may provide more insight in landscape appreciation by dog owners in different types of landscapes. This knowledge is necessary to create natural environments that appeal to a varied group of users, including dog owners.