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Mapping cultural ecosystem services: how to tackle scale issues?

 Assessing and mapping a set of ecosystem services has been proven difficult. Lagging behind in the assessments are the cultural ecosystem services (such as aesthetic and recreation) that due to its subjective nature are difficult to comprehensively assess and ultimately map. Moreover, the assessment of cultural ecosystem services such as   aesthetics or as recreation can be dealt with at different spatial scales, e.g. from the European to the local, however these assessments often rely on different data and methodological approaches. At broader spatial scales, a common procedure is to use proxy indicators, derived from European datasets such as Eurostat or Corine, being those spatial indicators often integrated into composite indexes driving  aesthetical appreciation and recreation indirectly, while at the local and regional scales  landscape preference surveys  are operational thus a straightforward  common method  used to directly gather data . The problem is not only to gauge whether or not those assessments deliver comparable results but as well to critically analyse how these top down and bottom up approaches can be reconciled in order to comprehensively tackle aesthetics and recreation ecosystem services in such a way this can inform policy making at different scales of governance. The work presented addresses this issue by attempting at mapping those two type of cultural ecosystem services at the regional scale (Alentejo) and further explores ways forward to upscale the results to the European scale.
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