Recommendations on Integrating VIA in the Urban Planning Process in Iran

(BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg, Cottbus, Germany)

Keywords: Visual Impact Assessment, Integration in urban development plan, Historic Urban Landscape, Cultural Heritage, conflicts

In the past few years the Visual Impact Assessment (VIA) is being widely applied by experts as a methodology of safeguarding the visual significance of cultural heritage in the natural and built environments. Nevertheless, implementing VIA in urban settlements faces more critical challenges, influenced by conflicting concepts of urban development and heritage conservation. The fact that VIA is a predictive tool which foresees the visual impact of individual developments on the limited number of viewpoints, makes it a case-by-case solution lacking the financial advantage, especially in developing countries. Not only is the precise 3D visualization of city districts a remarkable financial burden for municipal organizations, the VIA is also a late-stage explication for developers. Leading to the waste of money and time, VIA suggests major changes in the structure of development in almost final steps of architectural design. As a consequence, this can set the stage for conflicts between stakeholders and developers. Suffice to say that the method is expert-oriented and does not consider residents opinion in safeguarding Historic Urban Landscapes.  This papers, aims to investigate the merits and demerits of VIA and to propose its integration in the urban planning process in a way to advantage the privileges of this method and curtail its drawbacks. It is believed that VIA should be a complimentary part of urban development plans. In addition, the development plans should be revised in accordance with visual preferences of residents.

Relevance conference / Relevance session:
The paper is mainly concerned with the subjects of Visual Impact Assessment (A 3D visualization tool) and urban heritage which are both highly connected to the aims and topic of the conference.

Applying the VIA as a complimentary stage of urban development plans.


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