Preserving the View Shed in Keene, New Hampshire
Track: State and Local Government
Author(s): Dennis Ulatowski
The proliferation of wireless communication tower construction nationwide has begun to leave a lasting visual impact on the landscapes of cities and towns. Aggressive construction schedules by the telecommunication industry, combined with financial incentives, have left some cities and towns with little or no time to consider the aesthetic degradation communication towers create in their community. Northern New England, especially, is vulnerable to the adverse visual impacts of these structures on its mostly rural, mountainous landscapes.
Due to the scenic nature of the hilly countryside in which much of Keene exists, it is important to consider the quality of the existing landscape. Many residents, local workers, and visitors to the City consider the rural and natural landscape of Keene to be one of its primary assets. This interest was balanced by the recognized need to allow and sometimes promote improvements in telecommunications service. Therefore, it was important to determine those areas in the City that are considered most sensitive to the adverse visual impacts created by the placement of permanent structures on the landscape. This view-shed analysis for the City of Keene was conducted to establish a View Preservation Overlay that maps those areas where new structures can be placed without compromising the quality of significant view sheds.
The study consisted of four steps to determine the significant viewing areas, which included observation point location selection, field survey and photographing, view shed analysis, and significant viewing area determinations. An integral part to this analysis was the use of Esri's ArcView and 3D Analyst to plot observation points acquired with the use of GPS, map distances, hot link digital photographs, calculate view sheds, perform geoprocessing functions and zoning analysis, and ultimately generate the View Preservation Overlay.
City of Keene, NH
3 Washington St
Keene , NH 03431