Landscape continuity analysis: A new approach to conservation planning in Israel

Noam Levin, Hava Lahav, Uri Ramon, Ayelet Heller, Guy Nizry, Asaf Tsoar, Yoav Sagi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Landscape continuity is an important factor to consider while conducting evaluation of nature and landscape sensitivity. The new method presented here for landscape continuity analysis offers a quantitative tool to compare alternative land use plans in order to maintain maximum landscape continuity of open areas. The approach can be applied at multiple spatial scales and adds an important layer for conservation planning. In contrast with the methodology of ecological networks this method does not assume any natural core areas. Rather, it assigns a continuity value to grid cells based on their distance from different types of built areas that are weighted according to their estimated impact. Two case studies from Israel are presented: (1) an analysis on a whole country scale, demonstrating how regions within Israel differ in landscape continuity, as well as examining how these results are influenced by the weights assigned to different built-up areas; (2) an analysis for the Ramot Menashe area. Here it is shown how this layer can be incorporated within conservation planning to (a) acknowledge the importance of open spaces matrix of agricultural, forested and natural areas and (b) quantitatively estimate the impact of the planned Cross-Israel Highway No. 6 on landscape continuity in the area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-64
Number of pages12
JournalLandscape and Urban Planning
Issue number1
StatePublished - 15 Jan 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Conservation planning
  • Fragmentation
  • Geographic information systems
  • Israel
  • Landscape continuity analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Ecology
  • Urban Studies


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