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Mitigating Urban Visual Pollution through a Multistakeholder Spatial Decision Support System to Optimize Locational Potential of Billboards

Wakil, Khydija and Tahir, Ali and Hussnain, Muhammad Qadeer ul and Waheed, Abdul and Nawaz, Raheel (2021) Mitigating Urban Visual Pollution through a Multistakeholder Spatial Decision Support System to Optimize Locational Potential of Billboards. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, 10 (2).

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Abstract

Urban visual pollution is increasingly affecting the built-up areas of the rapidly urbanizing planet. Outdoor advertisements are the key visual pollution objects affecting the visual pollution index and revenue generation potential of a place. Current practices of uninformed and uncontrolled outdoor advertising (especially billboards) impairs effective control of visual pollution in developing countries. Improving this can result in over 20% reduction of visual pollution. This article presents a spatial decision support system (SDSS) to facilitate all the stakeholders (development control authorities, advertisers, billboard owners, and the public) in balancing the optimal positioning of billboards under the governing regulations. In terms of its technical implementation, SDSS is based on well-known geospatial open source technologies and uses an analytical hierarchy process AHP-inspired approach in spatial decision-making. It can help users through its category-specific user interface to identify potential sites to position new billboards and the selection of boards from existing sites based on a wide variety of characteristics. The observations of all stakeholders have been recorded through panel feedback to assess the system’s initial effectiveness. The proposed system has been found functional in identifying hot spots for the focused management and exploration of the best suitable sites for new billboards. So, it helps the advertising agencies, urban authorities, and city councils in better planning and management of existing billboard locations to optimize revenue and improve urban aesthetics. The system can be replicated in other countries irrespective of spatial boundaries by incorporating jurisdictional rules and regulations.

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