Raheel Nawaz (Staffordshire University, UK)
Khydija Wakil (National University of Sciences and Technology, Pakistan)

Visual Pollution

ISBN: 978-1-80382-042-2, eISBN: 978-1-80382-041-5

Publication date: 13 October 2022


Nawaz, R. and Wakil, K. (2022), "Prelims", Visual Pollution, Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. i-xxi.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022 Raheel Nawaz and Khydija Wakil. Published under exclusive licence by Emerald Publishing Limited

Half Title Page

Visual Pollution

Title Page

Visual Pollution

Concepts, Practices and Management Framework


Raheel Nawaz

Staffordshire University, UK


Khydija Wakil

National University of Sciences and Technology, Pakistan

United Kingdom – North America – Japan – India – Malaysia – China

Copyright Page

Emerald Publishing Limited

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First edition 2022

Copyright © 2022 Raheel Nawaz and Khydija Wakil.

Published under exclusive licence by Emerald Publishing Limited.

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ISBN: 978-1-80382-042-2 (Print)

ISBN: 978-1-80382-041-5 (Online)

ISBN: 978-1-80382-043-9 (Epub)


To Daniyal, life wouldn't mean much without you!

(Professor Raheel Nawaz)

To late Professor Ghulam Abbas Anjum, my first research mentor who encouraged me to pursue visual pollution research

(Dr Khydija Wakil)


We have eyes, and we're looking at stuff all the time, all day long, and I just think that whatever our eyes touch should be beautiful, tasteful, appealing, and important. We need to emphasise the responsibility that designers and illustrators have towards the people they create things for; Whether it's a coffee cup, or a poster, or a book illustration, or a typeface, it has to be designed in such a way that it is not trashy, and doesn't pollute your eyes. We have so much pollution out in the air. Our eyes are being polluted. We have visual pollution out there, and I have a very strong sense about that.

Eric Carl (2014)

List of Figures

Chapter 1
Figure 1. Human Interaction with Urban Environments.
Figure 2. Historical Emergence of Visual Pollution as a Subject.
Figure 3. Visual Pollution in Different Geographical Contexts; the Clutteredness of Hanging Wires Increases from Developed to Developing Countries. The Sensitivity of the Residents to Clutter is Also Relational. Braidwood Australia; Lahore, Pakistan (Left to Right).
Figure 4. A Contrasting View on the Presence of Complex and Different Character of Visual Pollution from Developed and Developing Countries. Braidwood, Australia; Rawalpindi, Pakistan (Left to Right).
Figure 5. Common Visual Pollution Objects.
Figure 6. Word-Cloud Representation of the Visual Pollution Objects from Literature.
Figure 7. Visual Pollution Objects and Their Presence in a Developing Country Context.
Chapter 2
Figure 8. Publications per Year; Containing ‘Visual Pollution’ in the Title.
Figure 9. Visual Pollution-Related Publications per Country (1970–2021).
Figure 10. Content-Based Classification of Visual Pollution-Related Publications.
Chapter 3
Figure 11. Spatial Spread of Case Studies Presented in Chapter 2.
Chapter 4
Figure 12. Snapshot of the Visual Pollution Assessment Tool.
Figure 13. Visual Pollution Assessment Calculator.
Figure 14. Location Map of the Study Area in the Regional Context.
Figure 15. Study Area Limits.
Figure 16. Single-Line Road Network in the Study Area.
Figure 17. City Limits Under Different Controlling Authorities.
Figure 18. Union Council Boundaries in the Study Area.
Figure 19. Map Showing the Distribution of the Study Area into Urban Blocks.
Figure 20. Screenshot Showing the Block Level Landuse Distribution.
Figure 21. Distribution of Sampled Nodes for Visual Pollution Assessment.
Figure 22. Average Visual Pollution Index for Various Categories of Urban Phenomena.
Figure 23. Visual Pollution Distribution with Respect to Area Type.
Figure 24. Histogram of Visual Pollution Distribution vs. Area Type.
Figure 25. Visual Pollution Distribution Across the Economic Status of the Area.
Figure 26. Histogram of Visual Pollution Distribution vs. Economic Status.
Figure 27. Visual Pollution Distribution Across Controlling Authorities.
Figure 28. Histogram of Visual Pollution Distribution vs. Controlling Authorities.
Figure 29. Visual Pollution Distribution with Respect to the Land Uses.
Figure 30. Histogram of Visual Pollution Distribution vs. Land Uses.
Figure 31. Scaled Symbols Representation of Presence of VPOs.
Figure 32. Node Level Visual Pollution Score.
Figure 33. Average VP Score Generalised at Union Council Level.
Figure 34. UC Level VPI Viz-à-viz Nodal VPI.
Figure 35. Heat Map of Visual Pollution in the Study Area.
Chapter 5
Figure 36. Visual Pollution Control and Management Framework.

List of Boxes

Box 1 Visual Pollution Objects Identification Process
Box 2 Gross Domestic Product and Human Development Index
Box 3 Suggestions for labelled datasets
Box 4 ABC of Visual Pollution

List of Tables

Chapter 1
Table 1. Classification of VPOs in Major VPO Groups.
Chapter 2
Table 2. Frequency Analysis of the Published Material on ‘Visual Pollution’ (Nov 2021).
Table 3. Thematic Details of the Research on Visual Pollution.
Chapter 3
Table 4. Difference of Approach to Handle Visual Pollution Between Developed and Developing Countries.
Chapter 4
Table 5. List of Studies Containing Components Like Visual Pollution Assessment.
Table 6. Spatial Data Layers and Sources.
Table 7. Average of the Cumulative Score of VPOs and VPI Across Various Urban Phenomena.
Table 8. Descriptive Statistics of VPI for Area Type, Economic Status and Controlling Authority.
Table 9. Descriptive Statistics of VPI for Various Land Uses.
Table 10. Average of Cumulative Score of VPOs and VPI.
Table 11. Opportunities and Challenges of Modern Technologies for Visual Pollution Assessment.

List of Acronyms


Analytical Hierarchy Process


Artificial Intelligence


City District Government


Defence Housing Authority


Gross Domestic Product


Geographic Information System


Human Development Index


Information Technology


Keyhole Markup Language


Open Data Kit


Open Street Maps


Quantitative Strategic Planning Matrix


Rawalpindi Development Authority


Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats


Tehsil Municipal Administration


United Kingdom


United States of America


Visual Impact Assessment


Visual Pollution


Visual Pollution Assessment


Visual Pollution Index


Visual Pollution Object

About the Authors

Professor Raheel Nawaz PFHEA, is currently serving as the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Digital Transformation) at Staffordshire University, where he provides strategic leadership and management of the University's continuing digital transformation agenda and leads transformative action across the University to deliver enhanced academic experience. Prior to that he held two substantive roles at Manchester Metropolitan University. As the Director of Business Transformations Research Centre, he led nearly 200 researchers specialising in digital transformation, analytics, industry 4.0, transforming markets and transforming places. As the Director of Digital Technology Solutions, he led Met's award-winning cross-faculty Digital Degree Apprenticeships portfolio delivering UG/PG programmes to nearly 900 apprentices from 70-plus leading technology employers. He was also the founding Head of the Apprenticeships Research Unit and the Text & Data Mining Lab at Manchester Met. Professor Nawaz is a renowned expert in industry-academia co-creation, especially for high-impact work integrated programmes like Degree Apprenticeships. He has advised on the establishment and launch of such programmes in Spain, New Zealand, Canada and Pakistan. He has addressed the Westminster Education Policy Forum twice and has recently been commissioned by the QAA to systematically analyse the Degree Apprenticeships pedagogies across English universities and advise the sector on best academic practices. Professor Nawaz is also a leading researcher in Artificial Intelligence and Digital Education. He holds several adjunct professorships and scientific directorships across Asia and North America. He sits on the boards of research and charitable organisations like the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence (Pakistan), TechSkills (UK) and NTF (UK), and has advised national policy organisations including the Prime Minister's Task Force on Science and Technology (Pakistan). He has authored over 150 peer-reviewed research articles and his career grant capture stands at over £14 million. He has graduated 19 PhD students so far. According to Google Scholar, he is among the top-10 most cited scholars in the world in the fields of Digital Transformations, Applied Artificial Intelligence and Educational Data Science. In the past, he has held senior leadership positions in the private further and higher education sector and was an army officer before that.

Dr Khydija Wakil is a professional Urban Planner and a Researcher in the fields of built environment, urban design and visual quality of the urban neighbourhoods and areas. She has a PhD in Urban Visual Pollution from the National University of Sciences and Technology, Pakistan. She is currently working as the Chief Executive Officer at City Pulse Pvt. Ltd, an urban planning consulting firm in Pakistan. She is an emerging international expert on visual pollution, and her research on conceptualisation of visual pollution and related assessment mechanisms has been published in leading journals and conferences. She has written several public engagement pieces on the topic as well and is a leading activist and ambassador for managing visual pollution.


We would like to thank the following colleagues and friends for their valuable input in refining the manuscript.

Dr Muhammad Qadeer ul Hussnain

Mr Paul Thompson

Dr Abdul Waheed

Mr Inam Ul Haq

Dr Jamal Uddin Thaheem

Dr Muhammad Fayyaz

Dr Afia Zubair Raja