Numerical Evaluation of Incremental Visual Impact
Since the introduction of the Council Directive 85/337/EEC in EU, the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has become a required tool to predict and evaluate a wide range of effects on the environment arising from public and private projects. Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA) is a separate but closely linked process that operates within the overall framework of EIA. It specifically aims to ensure that all possible effects of change, both on the landscape and on the visual perception of potential observers, are taken into account in decision-making. The Visual Impact Assessment (VIA), in particular, is concerned with how individuals or groups of people may be specifically affected by a change in the landscape’s visual perception. This means assessing changes in specific views and in the general visual amenity experienced by particular people in particular places. The Visual Impact Assessment typically includes the preliminary identification of the viewpoints from which the landscape modification is actually visible and the successive estimation of the visual effect based on direct or indirect criteria. The article deals with the application of a quantitative assessment procedure, which integrates the preliminary identification of the viewpoints from which the modification is visible by means of the Intervisibility Analysis (IA) and the subsequent calculation of the Level of visual impact (Lvi) for each of the selected viewpoints. The article discusses the application of the proposed assessment procedure to the expansion of an existing BRDA (Bauxite Residue Disposal Area) located in the south-west of Sardinia, for which the EIA procedure requires the evaluation of the incremental visual impact deriving from the comparison between the ante- and post-operam states.
KeywordsEnvironmental Impact Assessment Landscape and visual impact Intervisibility Analysis Landscape modification Tailing basins Surface excavation
Investigation carried out in the framework of projects conducted by CINIGeo (National Inter-university Consortium for Georesources Engineering, Rome, Italy). This work is part of the research project “RE-MINE -REstoration and remediation of abandoned MINE sites”, funded by the Fondazione di Sardegna and Regional Sardinian Government (Grant CUP F72F16003160002).
- Briggs, D.J., France, J.: Landscape evaluation: a comparative study. J. Environ. Manage. 10, 263–275 (1980)Google Scholar
- Dentoni, V., Massacci, G., Meloni, R.: Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment of Opencast Mining. In: Proceedings of the 8th International Symposium on Environmental Issues and Waste Management in Energy and Mineral Production (2004), Antalya, Turkey, 17th–20th May 2004: 113–118. ISBN 975-6707-11-9Google Scholar
- Directive 2011/92/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 December 2011 on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environmentGoogle Scholar
- Landscape Institute: Guidelines for landscape and visual impact assessment, at https://www.landscapeinstitute.org/. Last accessed 17 May 2018
- Nicholson, D.T.: The visual impact of quarrying. Quarry Manag. 22(7), 39–42 (1995)Google Scholar
- Sardegna Geoportale, http://www.sardegnageoportale.it/navigatori/sardegnamappe/. Last accessed: 17 May 2018