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Article

A Hybrid Tool for Visual Pollution Assessment in Urban Environments

1
Department of Urban & Regional Planning, National University of Science & Technology (NUST), Islamabad H-12, Pakistan
2
Department of City & Regional Planning, University of Engineering & Technology (UET), Lahore 54000, Pakistan
3
Department of Construction Engineering, National University of Science & Technology (NUST), Islamabad H-12, Pakistan
4
Department of Operations, Technology, Events and Hospitality Management, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester M13 9PL, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(8), 2211; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11082211
Received: 3 January 2019 / Revised: 23 February 2019 / Accepted: 24 February 2019 / Published: 12 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable | Sustaining City Streets)
With increasing focus on more nuanced aspects of quality of life, the phenomenon of urban visual pollution has been progressively gaining attention from researchers and policy makers, especially in the developed world. However, the subjectivity and complexity of assessing visual pollution in urban settings remain a challenge, especially given the lack of robust and reliable methods for quantification of visual pollution. This paper presents a novel systematic approach for the development of a robust Visual Pollution Assessment (VPA) tool. A key feature of our methodology is explicit and systematic incorporation of expert and public opinion for listing and ranking Visual Pollution Objects (VPOs). Moreover, our methodology deploys established empirical complex decision-making techniques to address the challenge of subjectivity in weighting the impact of individual VPOs. The resultant VPA tool uses close-ended options to capture the presence and characteristics of various VPOs on a given node. Based on these inputs, it calculates a point based visual pollution scorecard for the observation point. The performance of the VPA tool has been extensively tested and verified at various locations in Pakistan. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first such tool, both in terms of quantitative robustness and broad coverage of VPOs. Our VPA tool will help regulators in assessing and charting visual pollution in a consistent and objective manner. It will also help policy makers by providing an empirical basis for gathering evidence; hence facilitating evidence-based and evidence-driven policy strategies, which are likely to have significant impact, especially in the developing countries. View Full-Text
Keywords: Visual Pollution Assessment (VPA); Visual Pollution Objects (VPOs); Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP); urban visual pollution; urban areas; evidence based policy; urban planning Visual Pollution Assessment (VPA); Visual Pollution Objects (VPOs); Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP); urban visual pollution; urban areas; evidence based policy; urban planning
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wakil, K.; Naeem, M.A.; Anjum, G.A.; Waheed, A.; Thaheem, M.J.; Hussnain, M.Q.u.; Nawaz, R. A Hybrid Tool for Visual Pollution Assessment in Urban Environments. Sustainability 2019, 11, 2211. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11082211

AMA Style

Wakil K, Naeem MA, Anjum GA, Waheed A, Thaheem MJ, Hussnain MQu, Nawaz R. A Hybrid Tool for Visual Pollution Assessment in Urban Environments. Sustainability. 2019; 11(8):2211. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11082211

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wakil, Khydija, Malik A. Naeem, Ghulam A. Anjum, Abdul Waheed, Muhammad J. Thaheem, Muhammad Q.u. Hussnain, and Raheel Nawaz. 2019. "A Hybrid Tool for Visual Pollution Assessment in Urban Environments" Sustainability 11, no. 8: 2211. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11082211

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