What are Landscape and Visual Impact Assessments?
Landscape and Visual Impact Assessments (LVIAs) are techniques used to measure the effects of development on the landscape and visual features of a location in order to avoid or neutralise the potentially negative impacts of development. These types of assessments are among the world’s best practices in professional development and are vital to preserving scenery, the environment, and the personal experience of enjoying the natural views and qualities of an area. LVIAs are commonly integrated with environmental assessments and reflect the concerns of a community and the interests of developers, creating a solution that allow development to proceed with the approval of local residents.
LVIAs are typically ordered for projects that involve mixed use and commercial properties, wind farms (offshore and onshore), residential and urban development, deforestation, mineral extraction, transportation development (roads, railways, airports), waste management, and more.
How are LVIAs Used?
Landscape and Visual Impact Assessments serve as an official evaluation of existing landscapes and views to ensure an informed decision on site selections, design elements, landscape masterplans, and other factors in agreement with the best wishes of the community and the developer. LVIAs offer insight into landscape feasibility and allow developers to review potential land use and how development will impact surrounding characteristics.
Using ZTV and GIS mapping, it’s possible to determine viewsheds and visibility in relation to project proposals and where and in which way development is expected to change the landscape and views of the area. All collected visual data is combined with various technical assessments on natural land conditions, and together with resident testimonies, helps create a thorough report of the situation and a coordinated strategy to avoid or mitigate negative visual and landscaping impacts. LVIAs may be presented as expert witness testimonies in the case of public inquires and are designed to help gain approval from local lawmakers and community leaders on the terms of development.
Best practice methodologies of LVIAs include several stages of assessment with the goal of creating consistent and credible guidelines for development. LVIAs are carried out in conjunction with the design scheme to accommodate for any need of modifications during the development project. LVIAs should lead to an objective judgement based on expertise, concise evidence, and sound reasoning.
A typical LVIA will include the following stages:
- Project Plan, Screening & Scoping, Review of Alternatives
- Baseline Study
- Concept Design and Review of Landscape and Visual Impacts
- Design Modifications for Impact Mitigation
- Final Design and Review of Landscape and Visual Impacts
- Assessment of Potential Long-Term Impacts Due to Development
- Implement Outcome of LVIA with Development Proposal
Why Choose rbmp for your Landscape and Visual Impact Assessments?
At rbmp, we take pride in working on behalf of our clients to produce substantive evidence for community-friendly development while taking every factor of landscape, townscape, and visual impact into account. Our expertise in the field of LVIAs allows developers and communities to work together in project design and bridge their best interests through our objective representation, which leads to sustainable and welcome development in consideration of the visual, ecological, hydrological, and cultural features of an area.
Rbmp is qualified and experienced in performing LVIAs for a wide-range of industries and development types that include commercial properties, residential properties, renewable energy, oil and gas, roads, and more. Our in-depth analysis of the current makeup of an area along with investigative insight into local opinions and expectations is designed to achieve thorough and accurate testimonies in accompaniment of unique mitigation schemes to be included in development proposals.