The Beauty and the Modification of Natural Scenery

The beauty of natural scenery is in its composition and order. Trees must follow the shape of each other. Rocky shorelines are visual essays in motion. Waves echo the topography of molten rock. Such beauty evokes the relaxation response. Urban landscapes, on the other hand, are often lacking in these two important qualities. Their harsh impact is often softened by a dense canopy of plants. Thus, they fail to convey the same sense of tranquility and order that nature does.

In contrast, the cultural landscape is modified by humans. It has symbolic meaning that is associated with the spiritual attributes of a people. For example, the Maori people of New Zealand use Tongariro National Park as their cultural landscape, representing the link between them and their physical environment. Technological developments have also altered natural scenery. In the Netherlands, you can see the impact of people on the landscape by looking at the coastline. While people may not change the topography, their activities alter it and make it more beautiful.

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