Document Type : Research Paper
Department of Environmental Science, Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran.
Research Center of Environment and Sustainable Development, Department of Environment, Tehran, Iran.
Identification of homogeneous units is one of the important steps in land planning and management. Therefore, this study aims to characterize the homogeneous landscape units (HLUs) that form the basis of landscape assessment and aesthetics studies. At first, by literature review, some criteria and indicators have been chosen to identify the homogeneous unit. Then, on this basis and according to the study's scale and the study area's conditions, the indicators used to characterize the homogeneous unit and mapping with the aim of landscape assessment were selected. Then, maps of each of them were made, and by overlaying these maps, a HLU map was created. Finally, the HLUs were ranked based on three criteria i.e., distance to the road network, distance to rural settlements, and distance from inaccessible areas. We used the Shannon entropy-Vikor method for alternatives' priority. Homogeneous unit Characterization indicators included elevation, slope, vegetation landscape, village visibility, permanent and seasonal rivers visibility, landform and soil type, and vegetation type and density. The spatial integration of the indicators' maps led to the characterization of 913 HLUs in the form of 147 different compositions (homogeneous landscape units). The results showed that 18% of the study area is suitable for aesthetic assessment for tourism. The ranking with the Shannon entropy -Vikor method showed that about 10 percent of the characterized homogeneous units have the highest priority for aesthetic assessment with the purpose of tourism. The results of this study showed that by using spatial indicators related to landscape assessment, it is possible to identify an independent assessment unit for landscape assessments in geospatial land planning, especially for nature-based tourism purposes.