Visual impact is any change, positive or negative, that one observes in the view of the landscape. Visual impact gives the first impression of the objects in view. In essence, visual impact can affect the decisions of an individual. The landscape has to be appealing to the eye for it to create a lasting visual impact. In the transport industry, roads with the most appealing landscape have great visual impact and they heavy traffic especially from leisure travelers.
On the other hand, aesthetics is a set of principles underlying and guiding the work of a particular artistic movement. Developers use aesthetics in the development of the plan to have an overview of the project once completed. aesthetics are incorporated in developing landscapes as they beautify them, creating beautiful sceneries. Aesthetics complements the natural landscapes where necessary and where nature is not visually appealing aesthetics makes the natural space worth looking at. The architect’s or decision makers of a project have to look at a project from the aesthetical perspective in order to improve it for future beneficiaries (Sinha, Labi & Wiley InterScience (Online service), 2007)
Visual impact assessment is necessary for any project as it lays the foundation of the said project. VIA is the done by considering the effects of modifying landscape to be visually appealing. Assessment is necessary to ensure there is harmony in the aesthetics. It is also important to conduct a virtual impact assessment to get the actual effect in the economic activities and how they are affected. One uses VIA in identifying the natural and other cultural resources available for incorporation into the development plan. The significance of the visual impact is also necessary before coming up with an implementation plan. VIA is intended to ensure there is no conflict between the natural and aesthetical aspect in the land view. In addition, VIA is a requirement that is applied together with the environmental impact assessment to ensure that any changes applied do not interfere with nature. By conducting VIA one will be able to make a decision on whether to change location or make amendments in the proposed landscape. The assessment enables the architect analyze the reaction of the public to the facility developed and how well the facility fits in the landscape. VIA is also a requirement for government bodies to ensure visually appealing developments.
Sinha, K. C., Labi, S., & Wiley InterScience (Online service). (2007). Transportation decision making: Principles of project evaluation and programming. Hoboken, N.J: John Wiley.