Department of Geography and Environmental Studies

Dawn Lorraine Allen, 1988

An Assessment of the Scenic Resources of Nova Scotia


This study attempts to objectively assess the quality of the Nova Scotian landscape as a scenic resource. An isoline map is constructed from point values representing the scores of three factors which the literature cites as basic to scenic attraction measures: relative relief, variety of land cover and the presence of water. The results of the procedure are examined and the utility of the assessment to land management policies is discussed.

The study, while broad in nature due to the scale of analysis, indicates that there is perhaps less highly rated landscape than is commonly believed. Eleven per cent of the land base scores very high ratings while 26% scores moderately high. The bulk of the landscape is rated at low to medium scores, 24 and 39% respectively. Very high scores are dictated in the main by coastal locations and bold geologic character. The pattern of high landscape values is in general agreement with popular opinion; however, other high scoring areas are indicated.

It is suggested that the assessment method and map results can play an important role in the designation of recreation/preservation areas and in tourism planning and development. Two examples are given. First, actual tourism flows are compared with the isoline map allowing the identification of high value landscapes that receive low tourist flows. Secondly, the assessment is used to suggest possible candidate areas that might be targeted for preservation. It is recommended that further study based on this assessment be completed at a finer scale to establish a base information source to aid in future land management policies in the province.