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Andrew at glacier near Banff, Canada






Dip Tech (Town Planning), MSc (Environmental Resources), PhD, CEnvP, FEIANZ





Andrew Lothian at Five Glaciers, Banff National Park, Canada in 2009

Since 2003, Dr Andrew Lothian has become Australia’s leading practitioner in landscape quality assessment – the art and science of measuring and mapping scenic quality based on community preferences. He has undertaken a range of studies at the State, regional and micro levels.

Projects completed include:

  • Measuring and mapping landscape quality of South Australia
  • Assessing the visual impact of wind farms in coastal and inland locations
  • Assessing the scenic amenity value of large remnant trees in agricultural land
  • Measuring and mapping the landscape quality of the South Australian coast (4800 km)
  • Assessing the visual impact of coastal developments including housing, marinas and aquaculture
  • Measuring and mapping the scenic quality of the Barossa region
  • Advising a power authority about the scenic quality impact of wind farms in a range of localities across South Australia
  • Advising wind farm companies about the scenic quality impact of wind farms at Myponga-Sellicks and Yankalilla
  • Assessing the scenic quality and landscape characteristics of part of the City of Victor Harbor and advising planning policy
  • Measuring and mapping the scenic quality of the River Murray, Lakes and Coorong
  • Assessing community perceptions of developments on the River Murray
  • Measuring and mapping the scenic quality of the Flinders Ranges in South Australia
  • Lake District National Park (UK) landscape quality project

In 2005, he established Scenic Solutions, a consultancy providing services in landscape quality assessment.

In April, 2006, the Planning Institute of Australia awarded Dr Lothian its 2006 National Award for Planning Excellence in the category of Environmental Planning or Conservation for his report: Coastal Viewscapes of South Australia.

This followed the award of the 2005 State Award for Planning Excellence in November, 2005 by the South Australian Division of PIA for the same report.


In the Environmental Planning or Conservation Category

Awarded to Dr Andrew Lothian at the PIA Conference, Gold Coast, Queensland 3 April 2006 for the project: Coastal Viewscapes of South Australia.

Award Citation

This is a high quality project with a comprehensive approach to the investigation of urban pressures on the South Australian coastline.

Measuring and mapping scenic quality established a comprehensive and innovative methodology. This thorough and well researched study lead to significant planning recommendations.

PIA Award

PIA Award

The PIA President, Sue Holliday MPIA, said of the Awards:
Not only do these awards provide leading examples of planning practice, they also demonstrate what can be achieved through innovative and creative thinking, collaboration, and commitment to a vision of vibrant and sustainable communities.

Until late 2002, Dr Lothian had worked at a senior level in the South Australian Department for the Environment for several decades.

Areas in which he contributed included:

  • Sustainability initiatives and environmental policy development at both the State and national levels
  • Greenhouse policy in South Australia and contributing to national policy
  • South Australia’s first State of Environment report and contributing to subsequent reports
  • Preparation of the first Environmental Resources Study of the Murray-Darling Basin
  • Advancing environmental valuation studies and the development of the environmental industry in South Australia
  • Preparation of site contamination legislation
  • Preparation of Zero waste policy
  • Development of legislation for housing energy rating

He has also played a significant role in improving the aesthetics of Adelaide and rural towns by the undergrounding of powerlines through his long involvement on the Government’s Powerline Environment Committee (PLEC).

Originally trained in Town Planning, in 1973 he graduated in the UK with MSc (Environmental Resources), and in 2001 graduated with a PhD for the dissertation, Landscape Quality Assessment of South Australia.

He has presented papers at many conferences and seminars and has published on a wide range of subjects including:

  • sustainability
  • environmental valuation
  • environmental industries
  • community environmental attitudes
  • landscape aesthetics
  • landscape impacts of wind farms
  • understanding greenhouse and ozone
  • greening of business
  • rural environmental issues
  • wetlands conservation
  • natural resources management
  • natural hazards management
  • environmental impact assessment

On leaving the South Australian Government in 2002 he established Environmental Policy Solutions, a consultancy providing services in environmental policy.

Dr Lothian has served as an Adjunct Lecturer in the School of Geography, Population and Environ-mental Studies at Flinders University in Adelaide and a Visiting Lecturer at the School of Social Sciences in the University of Adelaide.

From 2003 to 2014, Dr Lothian served as a Sessional Commissioner of the Environment, Resources and Development Court in South Australia.

He is a past President of the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand (South Australian Division) and has served as a councillor on local government.

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