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Title: Prediction of the visual impact of motorways using GIS

Large scale transportation projects can adversely affect the visual perception of environmental quality and require adequate visual impact assessment. In this study, we investigated the effects of the characteristics of the road project and the character of the existing landscape on the perceived visual impact of motorways, and developed a GIS-based prediction model based on the findings. An online survey using computer-visualised scenes of different motorway and landscape scenarios was carried out to obtain perception-based judgements on the visual impact. Motorway scenarios simulated included the baseline scenario without road, original motorway, motorways with timber noise barriers, transparent noise barriers and tree screen; different landscape scenarios were created by changing land cover of buildings and trees in three distance zones. The landscape content of each scene was measured in GIS. The result shows that presence of a motorway especially with the timber barrier significantly decreases the visual quality of the view. The resulted visual impact tends to be lower where it is less visually pleasant with more buildings in the view, and can be slightly reduced by the visual absorption effect of the scattered trees between the motorway and the viewpoint. Based on the survey result, eleven predictors were identified formore » the visual impact prediction model which was applied in GIS to generate maps of visual impact of motorways in different scenarios. The proposed prediction model can be used to achieve efficient and reliable assessment of visual impact of motorways. - Highlights: • Motorways induce significant visual impact especially with timber noise barriers. • Visual impact is negatively correlated with amount of buildings in the view. • Visual impact is positively correlated with percentage of trees in the view. • Perception-based motorway visual impact prediction model using mapped predictors • Predicted visual impacts in different scenarios are mapped in GIS.« less
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. School of Architecture, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN (United Kingdom)
  2. Department of Landscape, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Environmental Impact Assessment Review; Journal Volume: 55; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2015 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States