Exciting new visual tool quickly maps towns and countries: The Vu+Q

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A consistent visual measurement tool

Using techniques developed from over 20 years of research and practice experience, Vu+Q provides an objective and standardised measurement of visual complexity, variety and intensity in the built and natural environment.

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Drawing on complexity to create a simple view

Advanced mathematical techniques are used to collapse the visual effect of building size, mass, scale, plot width, enclosure, street width, landscape elements, amounts of open space, building materials, windows, doors, rooflines, street furniture and vegetation into a single objective, mappable index of view complexity, variety and intensity (the ‘Cvi index’).

A proven indicator of visual quality

The complexity, variety and intensity index (Cvi index) has a proven link with perceptions of visual diversity, attractiveness, beauty, order, coherence, preference, and interest and we can establish people’s visual quality preferences allowing us to calibrate the Cvi index for specific locations and specific groups.

Services and consulting

The tool provides three key services:

  1. Survey: The Vu+Q Survey function calculates the CVi index for a location and produces an objective and consistent assessment and mapping of the visual complexity, variety and intensity of a place. All projects start from a Vu+Q Survey.
  2. Assessment: Vu+Q assessment helps evaluate the visual appropriateness of proposed interventions, allows users to set targets and provides an objective assessment of proposed change.
  3. Validation: Vu+Q Validation establish visual quantity preferences of user, community and purchaser groups.  Preferences are calibrated with CVi data to automate the mapping of visual quality.

Dr Jon Cooper is the Director of Vu+Q Consulting and provides a combination of applied research and professional consultancy experience to ensure that Vu+Q is unique, useable and useful in preserving and improving the visual quality of town and country.

Jon Cooper Director Vu Q Consulting

Dr Jon Cooper, Director of Vu+Q Consulting

In addition to being a researcher Jon is an urban designer, landscape architect, design communicator, educator, and practitioner with over 30 years’ experience of working with both the public and private sectors. He was a founding Director of Urban Design and Mediation where he worked for a large range of clients such as Land securities, Places for People, Hallam Land, Pelham Homes, Milton Keynes Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council and worked with a range of consultants such as Grimshaws, David Lock Associates and Arup.

For five years he was the Director of the internationally renowned Joint Centre for Urban Design at Oxford Brookes University and Field Chair of Environmental Design and Conservation in the Department of Planning at Oxford Brookes University. Prior to this he was Principal Landscape Architect and Urban Designer with Birmingham City Council’s Design Services. Jon continues to teach at Oxford Brookes University on a part-time basis.

To find out more about Vu+Q, talk to Andrew Baxter (Business Manager) at the Oxford Brookes University Stand 7 at Venturefest on 29 June. Or contact [email protected] or +44 (0)7477 969217.