How to improve the visual aesthetic effect of the landscape

image: The results of the overall evaluation by the LVAQ of the pedestrian spaces of the urban streets of the study area with site photos of several streets
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Credit: Xiao Huabin, An Qi, Wu Junying, Guo Yanxin

With the growing urbanization demand for land, Chinese cities and towns are gradually developing from plains to mountainous areas. Serving as an important ecological base and natural components of urban spatial structure, mountains partly determine the overall layout and appearance of a city’s landscape, especially for mountain cities. The spatial structure of “mountain-city integration” refers to the planning and construction of an urban model by taking the mountains as structural elements at the city scale, and embodies an urbanized extension towards the mountains at the neighborhood scale. Urban streets support citizens’ daily travel, leisure and recreation, cultural exchange and environmental protection. The landscape of pedestrian spaces greatly affects the visual aesthetic perception of pedestrians, which is defined by the visual interaction and feedback of people with the landscape. As part of the promotion of mountain-city integration, research on the LVAQ (visual landscape aesthetic quality) assessment of urban mountains in a relatively wider visual range is expected.

The study, conducted by An Qi, Xiao Huabin, Guo Yanxin, and Wu Junying of Harbin Institute of Technology and Harbin Institute of Technology, focuses on historic downtown Jinan, a mountainous city typical, analyzes the aesthetic visual characteristics of the streetscape pedestrian spaces. It measures the visual aesthetic quality of the landscape of spaces using panoramic images; assesses the visibility of the urban mountainous landscape of high visual aesthetic quality in urban streets. The book titled “Visual Aesthetics of Landscape Measurement, Evaluation and Improvement of Pedestrian Spaces in Mountain City Streets – Case Study of Historic Downtown Jinan, Shandong Province was published on the journal of Borders of landscape architecture (September 14, 2022).

The historic downtown of Jinan, Shandong Province was selected as the study area, which covers an area of ​​about 203.51 km2 and over 1,300 streets. The study area lies in the Taishan Mountains region and is home to a number of mountain parks and urban scenic areas. The study area, typically embedded in the mountains, faces the challenge of organically improving the quality of slow-living urban spaces, including street pedestrian spaces.

This study uses massive streetscape data and deep learning methods, combined with High Visual Aesthetic Quality Urban Mountainscape Visibility Overlay Analysis (HVAQUML), to perform an overall LVAQ assessment. urban pedestrian spaces of multiple characteristics based on a large sample size and in an efficient method, in order to provide a benchmark for the improvement of urban landscapes of mountain-integrated cities. There are mainly four steps: data collection and processing of streetscape images; LVAQ assessment of pedestrian spaces on urban streets; evaluation of the visibility of HVAQUML in the streets of the study area; and the overall assessment and optimization of the LVAQ of street pedestrian spaces in the study area.

The study found that, based on the spatial structure of mountain-city integration in the study area, the pedestrian spaces of high LVAQ urban streets can not only provide citizens with visual enjoyment and slow lifestyle, but also serve as corridors between the mountains and other natural spaces. landscape elements of the city, in order to improve the image of the city by highlighting the aesthetic quality of urban mountains, in particular the mountains with landscapes of high aesthetic quality. Urban street spaces with varying levels and scales were different in terms of usability for walking activities, and the specific elements that affect their visual landscape aesthetics also differ. Therefore, for strategies to optimize the visual aesthetic experience of the landscape of pedestrian spaces of urban streets, the environmental elements of the streets related to the characteristics of naturalness, diversity, harmony, openness and disturbance must be adjusted according to their level and scale, as well as their cultural, historical and environmental qualities.

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Quote this article

An, Q., Xiao, H., Guo, Y. & Wu, J. (2022). Visual aesthetics of the landscape Measurement, evaluation and improvement of pedestrian spaces in the streets of mountain cities – Case study on the historic city center of Jinan, Shandong province. Borders of landscape architecture, 10(1), 9‒27. https://doi.org/10.15302/J-LAF-1-020061

About the researchers

An Qi, Researcher of Key Laboratory of National Land Use Planning and Ecological Restoration in Cold Regions (Ministry of Natural Resources), School of Architecture, Harbin Institute of Technology

Xiao Huabin, Professor, School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Harbin Institute of Technology, with research interests in landscape planning and ecological restoration, urban and rural ecological space planning and design low carbon

Guo Yanxin and Wu Junying, School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Shandong Jianzhu University

About Borders of landscape architecture

Borders of landscape architecture emphasizes the intersecting spheres of academic research and design practice in landscape architecture, discussing new opinions, theories, and approaches to solving environmental and ecological problems through landscape architecture; advocating a new aesthetic and culture that benefits the beauty of China and the world by introducing and promoting the latest practice of landscape architecture. It acts as a bridge linking research and social needs, science and art, leading the development of the discipline. Our audience includes professional researchers and architects, professors and students, policy makers in related fields, and people who work on environmental constructions in urban and rural areas.

About Higher Education Press

Founded in May 1954, Higher Education Press Limited Company (HEP), affiliated with the Ministry of Education, is one of the earliest institutions engaged in educational publishing after the establishment of the PR China in 1949. After six decades of efforts, HEP has grown into a large, comprehensive publisher, with products in various forms and at different levels. Both for import and export, HEP strives to fill the gap in domestic and overseas markets and meet the demand of global customers by cooperating with more than 200 partners around the world and selling products and services in 32 languages ​​worldwide. Today, HEP ranks among the top Chinese publishers in terms of copyright export volume and among the top 50 publishing companies in the world in terms of overall strength.

The Frontiers Journals series published by HEP includes 28 English academic journals, covering the major academic fields in China today. Among the series, 13 were indexed by SCI, 6 by EI, 2 by MEDLINE, 1 by A&HCI. HEP’s academic monographs have won about 300 different kinds of publishing funds and awards both at home and abroad.


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