Open Access

Visual Impact Assessment of Free Standing Billboards in the Road Landscape near Elektrėnai (Lithuania)


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Free standing billboards (FSBs) have a significant negative visual impact on landscape. In majority of foreign countries the construction of FSBs is regulated by various legal instruments, guidelines, and control manuals. In Lithuania the construction of FSBs considering visual impact is poorly regulated by juridical and spatial planning means. Considering this situation methodological guidelines for regulation of FSB construction taking into account their visual impact were created. The guidelines are a part of the Landscape Guidelines for the Roads and Railways of National Significance [10] which is a manual set to fulfil the requirements of the European Landscape Convention [4] to broaden the knowledge on this subject and to integrate landscape issues into all matters that influence the state and the future of landscape. The aim of the article is to show the possibilities of application of the guidelines by performing visual impact assessment of FSBs in the road landscape near the town of Elektrėnai on one of the main highways of Lithuania: A1 Vilnius-Kaunas-Klaipėda. The proposed stages of FSB visual impact assessment are the following: analysis of landscape spatial structure designating visual spaces perceived from separate road sections; analysis of FSB layout possibilities designating visual spaces protected from FSB construction and visual spaces as FSB construction areas; establishment of possible visual contrast level of FSB, and establishment of FSB location in visual space and visual contrast character according to the Identity Index context (Similarity, Identity, Difference Index) theory and results of evaluation of aesthetic potential of the visual space. In the performed research we used the possibilities of spatial data management and analysis of geographic information systems (GIS) and basically implemented the first three stages of FSB visual impact assessment. The fourth stage was not implemented because it deals mainly with technical issues of FSBs. We tried to solve questions that are most important on the level of spatial planning when developing special plans for FSB construction.

eISSN:
2255-8764
Language:
English
Publication timeframe:
1 time per year
Journal Subjects:
Architecture and Design, Architecture, Urbanism, other