Uncovering the Visibility of Blue Spaces: Design-oriented Methods for Analysing Water Elements and Maximizing Their Potential

H. Zhang*, S. Nijhuis, C.E.L. Newton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Existing studies indicate that a direct view of aquatic elements benefits well-being, and houses with blue views are often associated with higher prices. Therefore, developing analysis and design methods for visibility research of blue spaces are crucial to advance spatial design practice. Especially digital methods for analysing blue visibility and their potential in design still need to be identified and explored. This study explores the application potential of some powerful digital visibility analysis methods for blue space design. Specifically, this research first provides an overview of poten- tial methods for analysing the visibility of water. Next, two practical design-oriented digital methods are briefly elaborated and illustrated by cases in Rotterdam (the Netherlands). Meanwhile, the study explores how the analysis results support spatial design practice. Last, the study discusses the potential of integrating blue visibility analysis methods into the iterative design process and makes prospects for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)628-638
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Digital Landscape Architecture
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Digital visibility analysis
  • Isovist analysis
  • Segmentation analysis
  • Landscape design
  • evidence-based design

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