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Towards sustainable urban design; Developing automated visibility analysis tools to be used along the urban planning and design development process (VISIBILITY TOOLS)
Start date: Apr 1, 2008, End date: Jul 31, 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"In order to develop and maintain sustainable urban design, new methods and tools are needed to evaluate the environmental quality of the urban fabric. This research proposes development of 3- dimensional visual analysis models and automated tools based on GIS technology in order to evaluate urban environments relating to privacy aspects, on one hand, and openness to the view on the other. This research aims to emphasize the point of view of urban designers and architects. Most of the current state-of-the-art analysis methods relate to 2-dimensional reality. I propose an objective measurable 3-dimensional morphological approach to be used by urban designers and architects along the urban design and development process in order to contribute to the development of sustainable urban environments. Visual openness to the view is one of the main objectives in the sustainable development of urban areas adjacent to open space such as coastal regions or open green spaces. Many people and economic forces are interested in such attractive locations. This attraction may be translated into economic terms: the rise of real estate value of land and built-up areas that benefit from accessibility and visual openness to open space. In addition, Visual Exposure, referring to privacy aspects in the built environment, is a major aspect influencing sustainable environmental quality. 'Visual Exposure' is defined as visual penetration of one's privacy as a result of being viewed from the external spaces of other building façades or public spaces at street level. One of the conditions for recouping investments designated for raising urban density is to preserve and maintain the attractiveness of the urban environment, where one of its dominant components is visual quality. Identifying the principles that govern visual openness to the view and visual exposure and their expression in quantitative terms is of great importance and can support development of sustainable urban environments."
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