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Volume 29 (2) - 2006

BRUSCHI V., CENDRERO A., OTERO C., IGLESIAS A., BONACHEA J., LAZARO M. & TOGORES R.

The application of computer-based procedures for the visual landscape sensitivity assessment

Pages 153-163

Abstract

The concept of visual landscape sensitivity is related to both the degree of visibility of new structures and the quality (intrinsic merit) of surrounding landscape. For a given landscape modification, visual impact is directly related to visual sensitivity. There are difficulties to translate that general concept into procedures or practice that can be routinely applied in different realms. A proposal is presented for describing, measuring and assessing visual impact of human interventions. The procedure proposed is based on the use of quantitative parameters that express the visibility of new elements in the landscape (visibility area, viewing population, magnitude of visual intrusion), as well as criteria for establishing a visual quality rank of landscape units affected. Assessment of visual impacts (directly dependent on visual landscape sensitivity) is carried out using qualitative criteria (contrast with surrounding landscape on the basis of visual quality of the unit affected) as well as comparison of different impact- or sensitivity- related magnitudes between the proposed actions and certain reference standards. The procedure, which can be implemented using easily accessible computer tools, makes it possible to rank different alternatives in terms of their visual sensitivity to a given landscape modification.

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