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Broadly engaging with tranquillity in protected landscapes: A matter of perspective identified in GIS

Hewlett, Denise, Harding, Lisa, Munro, Tom, Terradillos, Ainara, Wilkinson, Keith
Landscape and urban planning 2017 v.158 pp. 185-201
conservation areas, geographic information systems, hearing, humans, issues and policy, landscapes, managers, marketing, models, planning, stakeholders
References to the subjective notion of tranquillity have long been extensively deployed in marketing literature and in planning policy in relation to both its promotion and its protection, particularly in protected areas. Whilst a liberal use of the term has ensued, a plethora of research interprets tranquillity primarily with noise, and where broader interpretations are progressed, traditional, directional questioning techniques are evident in attempts to understand tranquillity and quantify its features. Surprisingly, few enquiries have taken a broader, inductive approach to determining the range of stakeholders’ views and of these even fewer have engaged specifically with local residents and particularly those classed as hard-to-reach. Using these latter approaches, of the few and most recent studies conducted, the Broadly Engaging with Tranquillity project provides a replicable framework for determining and mapping tranquillity. An extensive community engagement process launched the study, using participatory principles from which stakeholders’ views were modelled using Geographical Information Systems. Results of this research are reported together with an interpretation of the models created according to four distinct groups representing views of institutions and members of the public. Similar views are identified amongst the groups with tranquillity commonly related to natural environments, whereas nontranquillity was primarily equated to seeing and hearing people and the products of human activity. Yet distinctions are identified between the four groups that have important implications for who should be involved in determining local characteristics of tranquillity and for how protected area managers might include nonexpert views in their understanding and conservation of tranquillity.