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Prediction of the Visual Impact of Motorways Using GIS

Jiang, L; Kang, J; Schroth, O; (2015) Prediction of the Visual Impact of Motorways Using GIS. Environmental Impact Assessment Review , 55 pp. 59-73. 10.1016/j.eiar.2015.07.001. Green open access

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Abstract

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 were 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 for 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.

Type: Article
Title: Prediction of the Visual Impact of Motorways Using GIS
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.eiar.2015.07.001
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eiar.2015.07.001
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Visual impact, Motorway, Landscape, GIS, Perception-based approach
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10058508
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