Economists are generally expected to leave natural beauty alone. In a commercialised world, it is argued, some things should be sacred. « How », asked the standard rhetorical question, « can you put a value on a sunset, the song of skylark, or the sight of magnificient mountains? »

img4730.jpg

The viewpoint that no common ground exists between aesthetics and economics is urged in several ways. The most defensible claim is that landscape is not marketable.

Economics is actually concerned with the allocation of scarce resources among needs which compete for them. Landscape of merit becomes an increasingly scarce resource as development takes place, and as such it is of interest to the economist.

Morever, since in special circumstances some pieces of landscape, for exemple, waterfalls, do bear an admission charge, an objection in principle to economics evaluation cannot be sustained on grounds of unmarketability.

For these reasons and contrary to the economic purism, I think that landscape economics must be developed. See www.ceep-europe.org