Call for Abstracts – 2023 Visual Resource Stewardship Conference

January 19, 2023 /

Call for Abstracts – 2023 Visual Resource Stewardship Conference

Exploring Multisensory Landscapes 

November 13 – 15, 2023.  In-person at Argonne National Laboratory and via virtual formats

The biennial conference aims to catalyze ideas and innovation between academia, practice, NGOs and government agencies who work to address analysis, planning, valuation, design and management of visual resources. Join our community to share ideas and discuss the issues associated with the assessment and protection of visual resources in an era of major landscape change – regionally, national and globally.

The 2023 VRS Conference Planning Committee welcomes presentations focused in the thematic areas  outlined in this call. The conference will be organized into five presentation types, also outlined in this  call. All abstracts must follow the provided abstract submission guidance. The 2023 VRS Conference  Proceedings will be electronically published and available to all conference registrants prior to the  conference. Submission guidelines for the proceedings will be provided with each abstract acceptance  notice. 


Abstracts can be up to 2000 words and should include:  

Presentation title and Thematic Area and Presentation Format (see full list of Thematic Areas and Presentation Formats on the following pages); 

An overview of the theoretical and/or professional practice context of your research/project;  A statement that identifies the question(s) that your research/project endeavored to answer;  A summary of the results, or anticipated results, of your research/project.  

An explanation of the significance and anticipated application of your results (this may include  the intended user(s) or audience); and  

Clear, succinct conclusions drawn from your research/project. 

Abstracts are due March 24, 2023, submitted to: 2023 VRS Conference Abstract Submission Complete submission instructions are provided at the submission website.

2023 Visual Resource Stewardship Conference Call for Abstracts 


Multisensory Landscape Assessment 

What are the connections between the visual and sound impacts of wind farms and the health of  nearby community residents? What are the multiple aesthetic attributes of urban parks? What are the  therapeutic benefits of slow, immersive walks through forested landscapes? Increasingly, scholars and  practitioners are being asked to address questions about landscape aesthetics that go beyond  traditional concerns of visual impact and visual preference to encompass a broader spectrum of  sensory and multisensory phenomena as well as their multiple effects on people. Integrated  soundscape, smellscape, and multisensory assessments include feature identification and mapping  and aim to address both positive and negative effects of people’s health and wellbeing, from matters  of aesthetics to broader concepts such as tranquility. Presentations in this thematic area would speak  to efforts to identify extra-visual and multisensory landscape attributes and perceptions that may contribute to improved theories and more robust and defensible assessment procedures across a  range of landscape types and issues

Visual Quality and Context Sensitive Design 

Many bemoan the lack of visual quality standards for our built environment, from project-level  developments to extensive corridors that traverse our urban, rural, and wildland landscapes. Along  this range of settings and scales emerging visual quality issues include: 1) implementation of context  sensitive design for transportation, utilities, and energy system development, and 2) blue/green  infrastructure for stormwater treatment and community greening that improves resident quality of  life but does not lead to green gentrification. Presentations in this thematic area would present work  dealing with these and other issues related to how the visual fit of development with valued landscape  features and qualities can be addressed.  

Scenic Resource Valuation 

There has been long standing need to value scenic landscape resources, both to enhance appreciation  of the resources, and to improve local and regional landscape planning and management of such  resources. In particular, there has been recent literature on valuation of ecosystem cultural services,  e.g., aesthetic, recreation, education, and aspirational landscape values. There is also a history of  appraisal literature quantifying value of viewscapes from private property – particularly views to water  features and parks. There are also studies of tourism benefits of maintaining scenic resources, e.g.,  Vermont’s rural tourism, scenic byways, and communities adjacent to national parks. In aggregate,  this research presents a key opportunity to apply knowledge and techniques from the broader  resource valuation domain to the special challenge of scenic resources, which will generate new  insights while also enhancing these research methods. All of this work will have practical applications  in the areas of land use, natural resource management, and other policy areas. Presentation in this  thematic area would demonstrate the advancement of robust, scalable, and consistent economic or  ecosystem services valuation methods, and consideration of their application for scenic landscape  resource planning.  

Representation Methods and Systems Used in Assessments of Visual Perceptions Representations of proposed landscape changes play an important role in studies of landscape  perceptions, visual preferences, and impacts to visible conditions anticipated as the result of proposed  development or land management actions. These representations are intended to aid professionals  and laypersons in their assessment of impacts to visual conditions, often when they are charged with  making decisions about the effect of a proposed project on visual resources. Analog drawings,  computer generated photorealistic-simulations, and augmented and virtual reality are some of the  methods currently used to generate imagery of the existing and anticipated visual conditions.  Presentation in this thematic area would demonstrate representation methods or systems either  being used or under development, discuss the theoretical foundations of representations, and/or  considerations in the efficacy of representations. 

2023 Visual Resource Stewardship Conference Call for Abstracts 

The Visual Effects of Climate Change and Renewable Energy – What Are We Willing to Trade-Off?  The perceived quality of life and sense of place from urban to rural communities have been impacted  with the installation of renewable energy infrastructure to meet changes in energy generation.  Renewable energy, and the associated distribution infrastructure, has an equal to or greater visual  presence in the landscape compared to historic carbon-based methods. There are important  questions that need to be asked prior to the installation of this infrastructure, for example, how is  technology and the increasing heights of wind turbine generators (both onshore and offshore to reach  optimum wind sources) changing the visual landscape? What is the cumulative appearance of the  landmass footprint of renewable energy initiatives? As many rural landscapes transition to renewable  energy producing sources, do these communities have to bear economic challenges from the loss of  long-term jobs and visual effects of this infrastructure in their viewshed? Presentations in this  thematic area would speak about processes or methods being applied to mitigate the broad scope of  impacts that renewable energy projects bring to a range of landscape types, and/or the sociocultural,  ecologic, and economic benefits and consequences of transitioning away from carbon-based energy  sources. 


Paper applicants need to submit an abstract as outlined under ABSRACT SUBMISSION. Conference  presentation time for each individual will be 12-15 minutes, most likely organized into a breakout  session of three to four presentations. Invited plenary speakers will have a 40-minute presentation  time. For inclusion in the conference proceedings, papers must follow detailed formatting protocol –  to be provided with abstract acceptance notice.  

Visual Case Study applicants need to submit an abstract as outlined under ABSRACT SUBMISSION.  Conference presentation time for each individual will be 12-15 minutes, most likely organized into a  breakout session of three to four presentations. Detailed guidance for visual case study formatting will  be provided with the notice of abstract acceptance. Only the visual case study abstract will be  included in the conference proceedings.  

Student Poster Session applicants need to submit an abstract as outlined under ABSRACT  SUBMISSION. Poster presenters will have the opportunity to introduce their project work in a  “lightening” session. This session will be followed by small group discussion sessions to allow for a  more detailed presentation of each student’s project work and the opportunity for reviewers to  provide comments and mentoring. Detailed guidance for poster formatting, lightening presentations  and small group sessions will be provided with the notice of abstract acceptance. Only the poster  abstract will be included in the conference proceedings.  

Training Workshop applicants need to submit an abstract as outlined under Abstract Submissions,  above and, if applicable, include any training material needs for workshop attendees such as software  and hardware specifications. Workshops will be one to two hours in duration and may be eligible for  Continuing Education Credits (CEC’s). If the training workshop instructor(s) wants the workshop to be  reviewed for CEC’s, please see the information under CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION. Only  the Training Workshop abstract will be included in the conference proceedings. 

Training workshops may be recorded but workshop proposers may refuse recording. 

2023 Visual Resource Stewardship Conference Call for Abstracts 

Panel/Guided Discussion applicants need to submit an abstract as outlined under ABSTRACT  SUBMISSION. These sessions will be scheduled for a one-hour time period. If the presenters(s) want  the panel or guided discussion to be reviewed for CEC’s, please see the information under  CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL EDUCATIONbelow.  

A panel may be three to four individuals with each presenting their contributions to a single  project or, three to four individuals each presenting closely aligned projects. The abstract for the  panel session must include an overview for how the panel’s topic will be introduced and an  outline of the session’s content and structure. Panelists may elect to submit a single paper or  have the panel’s abstract included in the conference proceedings. 

An individual or small group may lead a guided discussion. The abstract for the discussion  session must include an overview for how the discussion topic will be introduced and an outline  of the session’s content and structure. If applicable, the abstract must include any training  material needs. Discussion leaders may elect to submit a single paper or have the discussion  abstract included in the conference proceedings.  


Conference planners are working with ASLA and APA to offer Continuing Professional Education Credit  (CEC) opportunities for 2023 VRS Conference attendees. Registered presentations must adhere to the  following LA CES1 definition of continuing professional education:  

Continuing professional education consists of learning experiences that enhance and expand  the skills, knowledge, and abilities of practicing landscape architects to remain current and  render competent professional service to clients and the public.  

It is most likely that training workshops, panels and guided discussion sessions of one hour or more  will qualify for CEC credits. If you want your presentation to be considered for CEC credits, your  abstract must include a minimum of three learning outcomes and a method(s) for evaluating  attendees’ learning. Learning outcomes are written statements of what the learner is expected to  accomplish as a result of attending your presentation.  

Examples of learning outcomes include:  

Learn how to determine the major functions and components of a scenic inventory;  Identify the factors that influence scenic inventories; and  

Learn how to utilize an integrated scenic inventory process for maximum utility.  

This definition should be viewed broadly to encompass the wide range of competencies and  proficiencies needed by design professionals to perform in varied visual resource practice settings. 

Need more information? Contact: 

Robin Hoffman Rick Smardon Brent Chamberlain 

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