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Combining a participatory planning approach with a virtual landscape model for the siting of wind turbines


  • Eckart Lange
  • Sigrid Hehl-Lange


The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zurich is planning to build three wind turbines for the production of renewable energy. Their proposed location is near the campus of ETH Honggerberg in the Kaferberg open space. This open space is of high importance for the recreation of the local residents. It is one of the last open spaces in Zurich that is used agriculturally. In order to provide a broad forum for discussion and to examine the level of acceptance of the proposed wind turbines a new approach to participatory planning is pursued by introducing a virtual landscape model to a participatory planning workshop for which the different interest groups and stakeholders were invited. During the workshop different alternatives were discussed and suggested changes by the participants were incorporated in the 3D model and visualized. The results of the workshop show that 3D visualization is an important means of communication among the different interest groups. The workshop also shows that an early integration of 3D visualization combined with a participatory approach is an effective way to elucidate potential conflicts at an early stage of the planning process.

Suggested Citation

  • Eckart Lange & Sigrid Hehl-Lange, 2005. "Combining a participatory planning approach with a virtual landscape model for the siting of wind turbines," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(6), pages 833-852.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jenpmg:v:48:y:2005:i:6:p:833-852
    DOI: 10.1080/09640560500294277

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    Cited by:

    1. Azraff Bin Rozmi, Mohd Daniel & Thirunavukkarasu, Gokul Sidarth & Jamei, Elmira & Seyedmahmoudian, Mehdi & Mekhilef, Saad & Stojcevski, Alex & Horan, Ben, 2019. "Role of immersive visualization tools in renewable energy system development," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 115(C).
    2. Toke, David & Breukers, Sylvia & Wolsink, Maarten, 2008. "Wind power deployment outcomes: How can we account for the differences?," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 1129-1147, May.
    3. Jones, Christopher R. & Richard Eiser, J., 2010. "Understanding 'local' opposition to wind development in the UK: How big is a backyard?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 3106-3117, June.
    4. Bishop, Ian D. & Miller, David R., 2007. "Visual assessment of off-shore wind turbines: The influence of distance, contrast, movement and social variables," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 814-831.
    5. Jones, Christopher R. & Orr, Barry J. & Eiser, J. Richard, 2011. "When is enough, enough? Identifying predictors of capacity estimates for onshore wind-power development in a region of the UK," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(8), pages 4563-4577, August.
    6. Jones, Christopher R. & Eiser, J. Richard, 2009. "Identifying predictors of attitudes towards local onshore wind development with reference to an English case study," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(11), pages 4604-4614, November.

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