Web-based GIS Approaches to Enhance Public Participation in Wind Farm Planning

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Abstract:

Abstract

Planning information pertaining to the potential visual impacts of proposed construction developments is particularly important in the case of wind farm planning, given the high levels of concern amongst members of the public regarding the perceived negative visual impacts of wind turbines on the landscape. Previous research has highlighted the shortcomings associated with traditional visualization techniques used to assess these impacts, and also the means by which such information is then disseminated to the wider public during the consultation stages of the wind farm planning process. This research is concerned with examining the potential of Web-based mapping and digital landscape visualization techniques for addressing some of these shortcomings. This article reports the findings of a Web-based survey study designed to evaluate the potential of online GIS-based approaches for improving the effectiveness and dissemination of wind farm visualizations and enhancing public participation in the wind farm planning process. Results from the survey study add to the research literature by demonstrating how innovative Web-based approaches have real potential for augmenting existing methods of information provision and public participation in the planning process. The findings of this study are also potentially transferrable to other landscape planning scenarios.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9671.2011.01240.x

Affiliations: Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD) and GIS Research Centre, University of Glamorgan

Publication date: April 1, 2011

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