Visual Resource Stewardship Conference

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 10-27-2019


Visual pollution significantly affects public appreciation of the urban environment. Sources of visual pollution such as wastes, energy infrastructures, and advertising boards can cause discomfort towards one's ability to enjoy a scene or view. Although visual pollution is prevalent in the urban environment, less is known regarding public acceptance and tolerance towards different levels of pollution. Therefore, from our point of view, determining the threshold level of visual pollution is essential in achieving visual quality in the urban environment. In this research, we have chosen a popular urban street in Kuala Lumpur as a case study to help us understand how people respond towards visual pollution within a historic shopping district. The study employed cumulative area analysis and photo booklet survey, and it was tested with students in the landscape architecture program at Universiti Putra Malaysia. Results show that the respondents have higher tolerance towards the level of visual pollution than what we had anticipated. Although we have thought that landscape architecture students should be more sensitive towards visual pollution, regular exposure towards pollutants in the urban environment probably has increased their level of tolerance. Nevertheless, this study has provided us with insight on demographic variables such as gender, education level and residential location, which may be meaningful for future research in identifying visual pollution threshold among the public in cities.