The National Environmental Policy Act

social sciences

Description

Part I: APA, original, and graduate level work expected

Please upload a Word document using APA format for this assignment.  On page 363, a Visual Impact Assessment is introduced, in two to three pages; please provide a visual impact assessment on any item you wish. You do not need approval from me; however, I do expect the realm of this case study to be tasteful and free of undesirable content..

Part II:  Answer each one of the three forum post in 250 word min for each individual one.  APA references and graduate level expected

1-      In 1970, President Nixon was responsible for signing NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) into law. NEPA encourages coordination between the natural environment and man-made structures to prevent damage to natural resources (NEPA.GOV, 2016). FHWA, USDOT, and many states have created their own guidelines that follow the rules and regulations set forth under NEPA.

Visual impact can be defined as how well a new facility blends in with the surrounding environment (Labi & Sinha, 2007). Or, one could refer to the old saying, "it sticks out like a sore thumb." Aesthetics refers to a judgment or reaction to the visual impact (Labi & Sinha, 2007). Terms used to define the aesthetics of a project could be beautiful, ugly, massive, harsh, etc. Citizens typically do not understand the complexity of project designs, however, they do understand and are increasingly interested in how the finished product is going to look. We often hear questions such as, will it block my view or what will the final color be? Conceptual artist renderings are one of the most instrumental tools when trying to gain public approval for a project. These renderings give stakeholders an opportunity to form an opinion on the visual impact.

Visual impact assessments are important for a couple of reasons. Visual impacts can also positively affect a project by creating scenic routes for recreational travel causing increased traffic flows (U.S. Department of Transportation, 2015). Public outcry over negative impacts can halt a project's progress. Transportation projects may also find their way through environmentally protected areas that require mitigation to meet state and federal guidelines. In order to prepare for all possible outcomes, an assessment should be completed. It's easier and less costly to make changes during the planning phase than during construction.

Understanding the economic impact of aesthetics and beautification, FDOT (Florida Department of Transportation) has begun to identify and fund landscape projects focusing on a bold initiative (Florida Department of Transportation, 2015). The bold initiative includes planting large palm trees and native landscape species. Planting along heavily traveled roadways helps to create a more visibly appealing commute for residents and visitors while offering environmental benefits for stormwater drainage (Florida Department of Transportation, 2015). By making a transportation corridor more attractive, these areas may experience positive economic benefits including increases in rental income and home prices along with job creation at local nurseries and landscape companies (Florida Department of Transportation, 2015).

References

Florida Department of Transportation. (2015, December 28). Business of beautification. Retrieved from Florida's highway beautification programs: http://myfloridabeautiful.com/BusinessofBeautification2016.pdf

Labi, S., & Sinha, K. (2007). Transportation decision making: principles of project evaluation and programming. Hoboken, NJ: J.W. Wiley & Sons.

NEPA.GOV. (2016). National Environmental Policy Act. Retrieved from NEPA: https://ceq.doe.gov/

U.S. Department of Transportation. (2015, January). Guidelines for visual impact assessment of highway projects. Retrieved from Environmental guidebook: https://www.environment.fhwa.dot.gov/guidebook/documents/VIA_Guidelines_for_Highway_Projects.asp

2-        Visual impact assess how well development of new facilities, advertisements, and transportation infrastructure fits into a new environment with, the use of aesthetics governments & businesses can assess the visual impact of a new development in a particular area. By using aesthetics to conclude the visual impact on the natural environment, local communities, & transportation infrastructure will avoid having a negative impact on these categories creating a more pleasant appearance on the environment & surrounding area. Aesthetics is defined as pleasing in appearance, understanding how well things in certain arrangements fit to avoid a negative visual impact. (Merriam-Webster) There three major areas that aesthetics focuses on are internal aesthetics, relational aesthetics, & environmental aesthetics. To better assess the visual impact it is important for, a visual impact assessment (VIA) to be conducted before development begins in any new area.

The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration have, developed a very detail Visual Impact Assessment for highway projects. This VIA guideline takes into consideration more than just the natural beauty of the environment but, also the visual impact on the local community that are surrounded by such highway development projects. This VIA considers many different performance measurement in assessing the development of a project from, the visual character (color, form, texture, line) to the scale contrast which, considers the scale of the project on the environment. (Sinha &Labi,) Both of these measurements will have most visual impact on the environment &, will determine how well the new development blends in with the current area to a create aesthetics.

Reference

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aesthetic

Sinha, K. C., Labi, S. (2007). Transportation Decision Making: Principles of Project Evaluation and Programming, 1st Edition. [Bookshelf Online]. Retrieved from https://online.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781118169667/

Instruction Files
p.363.pdf
833.2 KB

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