have been cut down, because they were deemed astroublesome or inconvenient to the ¯ow of traf®c orthe cultivation of ®elds. By contrast, many newvisually dominating, large-scale technical elementswith patterning and orienting effects have been intro-duced in the last decades (e.g. motorways, electricalpower lines, radio and television masts); it has turnedout since, that people do not accept them aestheticallyat all, because of their oversized scale and their`urban' character.
2.1.4. Loss of regional identity
Many spatial arrangements have disappeared,which moulded the speci®c character of the formerlandscape, and which gave it a unique and individualappearance. Since an element will be perceived andmentally accepted as a typical one, only if it has beenexperienced as part of the familiar landscape forsome time, the many newly introduced elements of today, such as motorway bridges or wind powerplants cannot serve as typical ones Ð at least, notyet. The (aesthetic) sense of place presupposes somehistory. Onthe otherhand, we experience elements astypical, if they commonly occur in a certain region.The new technical elements, however, are very oftenstandardized and made from (mass produced) pre-fabricated elements, and occur nationwide, so thatthey do not possess, as opposed to old churchesor vernacular architecture, for example, any region-ally or locally motivated characteristic traits andpeculiarities.
2.1.5. Loss of vista quality
Vistas, prospects, or distant clear views occur morerarely today, due to ubiquitous air pollution. It is alsotrue that today, the rapid urban development in thecountry has resulted in many buildings blocking theview. Furthermore, unre¯ected ecological thinkingoften brings about uncontrolled vegetation growth.One of the most disastrous examples are our motor-ways and highways, which often do not allow distantviews out from them because of high noise barriersalong both sides, or because they are deeply cut intothe earth. Of course, this is done to screen roads in thelandscape and to reduce their impact on the rest of thelandscape. But by this ``the view from the road''(Appleyardetal.,1964)intothelandscapehasbecomea myth, to a great extent.
2.2. Consequences for the aesthetic landscape perception
This is not the place for lamenting over the ``dele-tion of the cultural±historical heritage'' (Ewald, 1996)as the unique and only possible realization of land-scape aesthetics, although a strong correspondencebetween the perceptual needs of people (e.g. forvariety, naturalness) and the offer of perceptuallyeffective elements and structures is quite obvious inthe traditional cultural landscape. However, this isde®nitely the place for pointing at some aestheticconsequences which are tied to the wide-spread weak-ening of the perceptual conditions in today's landscape(see above). The fact is that today a beholders ®eld of vision (perceptual ®eld) is simpli®ed, disturbed, andnarrowed down in many of our landscapes. The effectsof these visual de®cits on the aesthetic perception maybe described by the following four inadequacies of thehuman perceptual ®eld: coarsening, impoverishment,destabilization, and alienation (Nohl, 1998).
2.2.1. Coarsening of the perceptual ®eld
The losses of landscape quality described above arethe results of modern land management, whichrequires huge, uniform landscape areas to be econom-icallysuccessful.Thetendencyhasbeenforallunevenspots to be removed, cut or ®lled, smoothed, andchanged into large homogeneous areas for agricultureandforotherlarge-scalefunctions.Therefore,the®eldof vision in such landscapes consists of only a few butlarge scaled areas whose informational contents willsoon be revealed to the viewer. A ``sense of mystery''(Kaplan and Kaplan, 1989) cannot occur. In place of arichly patterned view, which corresponds to the curi-osity of man, the beholder is confronted with singleperceptsof vast anddisconnected landscape areas, andhis needs for information remain quite unsatis®ed.
2.2.2. Impoverishment of the perceptual ®eld
Furthermore, these few large scale landscape unitsare not only greatly expanded, at the same time theyare perceptually very monotonous. The multiplicity of different elements and structures, such as terraces,trees, tree groups, small hedges, ponds have beenremoved or replaced by a few large, yet simple andrepetitive vegetation structures which do not interferewith the processes of modern land use, especially of
W. Nohl/Landscape and Urban Planning 54 (2001) 223±237