Illuminated signage is appearing more frequently throughout our suburbs and is yet another piece of 'urban form' infrastructure that contributes to our streetscapes and view corridors which form our communities.
As Landscape Architects, we have a strong interest in the character and look of our neighbourhoods and streetscapes and aim to create and preserve outcomes that consider both the architectural built form as well as a strong natural environment.
With so many hard surfaces being introduced into our communities and urban environments, visual impact is an important consideration to ensure our environments are not simply turning into a mass of hard, cold and uninviting spaces.
Regarding this project, sensitive receivers were identified within an approximate 100 metres radius of the proposed digital sign location. Views were analysed from locations in the immediate areas of these sensitive receivers to determine the likely visual impact of the proposed digital signage in operation phase.
The digital signage has a similar built form character of the commercial property it is to be constructed on as well as a unique additional visual characteristic which is illumination between specific operating hours.
The nature and character of the digital signage 'built form' is somewhat compatible with the similar nature of its surroundings,
however visual impacts needed to also consider illumination.
The assessment of predicted visual impact significance on neighbouring residents included:
- the Receivers Location (Distance of View)
- the Duration of Visual Impact
- the Visual Absorption Capability
- the Magnitude of Change
- the predicted success of mitigation proposals to any Viewshed.
A viewshed is an area that is visible from a specific location. Mature vegetation along Sandgate Road assists in reducing the impacts of the existing built form along the corridor and the presence of large mature vegetation on numerous private properties also combine to help reduce the impacts of the built form.
Vegetation assists in softening 'harsh' views as well as reducing glare and reflection of the hard surfaces associated with built structures. In addition to this, vegetation provides shade and reduces heat impacts therefore improving pedestrian amenity.
Mitigation strategies to reduce visual impacts of the sign were part of recommendations made to the Local Authority.