|M.Sc Student||Porat Michelle|
|Subject||Evaluation of Scenic Resources in Environmental Impact|
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisor||Professor Ruth Enis|
In 1969 the U.S. Congress approved the National Environmental Policy Act, the first legislation of its kind which required submission of environmental impact statements (EISs) for federally funded projects expected to substantially effect the human environment. In 1982, Israel enacted similar legislation as part of the Planning and Building Code (of l965). While not specifically indicated in the statutory ElS Regulations, visual resources are considered an important element of the environment widely treated in EIS guidelines and reports.
Two subjects are dealt with in this work and then synthesized: environmental impact statement programs in Israel and abroad and the professional aspects of visual impact assessment as found in the literature. Past EISs are analyzed for their overall quality and treatment of visual resources and problems are identified based on VIA standards derived from the literature.
Criteria are then developed and a model designed for the assessment of impacts on visual resources. The proposed model, if adopted will greatly improve the systematic assessment of visual impacts in EISs. If use of the model is consistently required by EIS guidelines, compliance to the guidelines will be greater. The subsequent improved quality of EIS in this area will, in turn, promote their use as a reliable environmental planning tool by planners and public decision makers.
The thesis presents a case study which is analyzed and to which the proposed model is then applied. It is concluded that the model maintains high VIA quality standards, emphasizes predictive as well as descriptive elements and includes consideration of viewer characteristics.