European agriculture is changing at a rapid pace; due to new technogicalpossibilities and to a growing internationalization, traditional agriculture ishardly possible any longer. Apart from social and econmic effects this maychange the outlook of the rural land drastically. In this process landscapesthat are formed by centuries of agricultural labor will disappear. To find anew future for these areas is hard, preserving something of the culturalvalue of these landscapes even harder. One solution to this problem is toprotect these areas with financial aid, but this is cotly; it is a vulnerablesystem as well, very sensitive to changes in national and internationalpreservation policy. A better solution would be to create a future for theseareas in which they can maintain a self supporting role, by altering prod-ucts, farming methods or shifting to tourism and leisure as potentil sourcesof income. All these strategies are in discussion, at a national and a Europeanlevel.One landscape type that is under severe perssure all over Europe is a typethat can be characterized as small-scale; some four landscape types in Eu-rope fall under this general heading , one of these is found in the Nether-lands.In a study that was part of a national planning project, several alternativesfor such a small-scale, old, rural landscape were developed. Underlying theconception of these alternatives were estimations of the productivity and ec-onomic feasibility, in terms of efficiency of farming and costs of mainte-nance of natural elements, i.e., hedgerows and small forest elements, in thisarea.Three alternatives were foreseen:preserving the existing landscape- slightly altering the layout of the area, with a small increase in scale- a severe change in the scale of the area; magnifying it from an average of10 to 70 ha.Three studies were performed; the first concentrated on the productivity offarming in each of these landscape designs; the second on the socts of main-tenance of natural elements in these plans; the third was a study on theevaluation of these alternatives by the public, i.e., inhabitants and recrea-tionists.The third study, performed within an environmental psychological frame-work, will be discussed further.Environmental assessment of places that do not yet exist has to rely on arti-ficial material. For this study artists paintings were made of an aerial pho-tograph of the area. In these paintings the new landscape designs were visu-alized. Together with these aerial views, eye-level photographs were used.The photographic material was rated by groups of inhabitants and recrea-tionists that were very familiar with the area. A third group, of people un-failiar with the area, was also asked to rate the eye-level photographs. Theywere not informed of the fact that some of these landscapes did not exist yet.Results show a decline in ratings on diversity, historical character and at-tractiveness for the new designs, for all three groups, especially for thelarge-scale landscape design. Differentiation between groups makes clear-that inhabitants and reactionists react partly to change per se but that,naive subjects also differentiate between the designs, mainly between theexisting and the new small-scale design on the one hand and the large-scaledesign on the other.