|Description||This paper reviews visual impact assessment and design review procedures in the UK and US. It discusses the problems presented by legal judgements being made on aesthetics in environmental impact assessments. It asks whether we can distinguish "significant" from "insignificant" visual impact in visual impact assessments with sufficient precision for legal purposes from a study of the built environment.|
|Methodology||The paper refers to studies of environmental projects and includes case studies. Legal aspects of environmental impact aesthetics are given prominence. A statistical criterion for settling disputes about environmental aesthetics is proposed. The author relates the statistical model to a philosophical model.|
Concludes that there are substantial difficulties arising on issues of subjectivity, vagueness of language, and measuring the intensity of visual impacts and summarises that:
|Published||Environmental Impact Assessment Review 17 (4): 249-293|
|Authors||A, E. Stamps, III|
|Price||subscription c. £250 p.a. (4)|
|Keywords||Visual Impacts/visual preference/visual environment|
Introduction covers much of the ground of the philosophy and theory of environmental aesthetics covered comprehensively elsewhere. Useful summary of Kant but interpretations of aesthetic judgements are open to question. The article does provide a useful summary of empirical research and methods in visual preference studies but the conclusions presented appear overly simplistic.
The author refers to Zimmerman and Zumbo (1993) in arguing for the validity of using normal parametric statistics to analyse semantic differential data which is ordinal.
|References||Zimmerman, D.W. and Zumbo, B.D. (1993) "The relative power of parametric and non-parametric statistical methods. In G. Keven and C. Lewis (eds) A Handbook for Data Analysis in the Behavioural Sciences: Methodological Issues, Hillsdale NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.|