- freely available
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(7), 2741-2759; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10072741
1.1. Quiet: A Human Perception of Soundscapes
“The need for quietness is strongly related to noise sensitivity and the perception of sound. When sound is perceived as a negative factor (noise from transportation and people) there is a higher need for quietness, but a positive factor (perceived liveliness at home/in neighbourhood) it reduces that need.”“It is clear that the acoustic quality of the city not only depends on the absence of noise but also on the presence of quietness and liveliness. … A city can be very noisy, but that is less a problem if its inhabitants have access to quiet places: a quiet home and a quiet place outdoors”.
1.2. Amenity: A Sense of Place
- Amenity values: those natural or physical qualities and characteristics of an area that contributes to people’s appreciation of its pleasantness, aesthetic coherence, cultural and recreational attributes .
- Community amenity: the qualities of the acoustic environment that are conducive to protecting the amenity of the community .
“In real property law. Such circumstances, In regard to situation, outlook, access to a water-course, or the like, as enhance the pleasantness or desirability of an estate for purposes of residence, or contribute to the pleasure and enjoyment of the occupants, rather than to their indispensable needs. In England, upon the building of a railway or the construction of other public works, “amenity damages” may be given for the defacement of pleasure grounds, the impairment of riparian rights, or other destruction of or injury to the amenities of the estate. In the law of easements, an “amenity” consists in restraining the owner from doing that with and on his property which, but for the grant or covenant, he might lawfully have done; sometimes called a “negative easement” as distinguished from that class of easements which compel the owner to suffer something to be done on his property by another.”
“Amenity is something on the attractive, pleasant or desirable side of life. In legal parlance, amenity is the location, view, access to water courses or lakes, etc. which add to the desirability of a tract of real estate. When a right consists in restraining the owner from doing that with, and upon, his property which, but for the grant or covenant, he might lawfully have done, it is an amenity or negative easement.”
“The Resource Management Act requires Council to “control the emission of noise and the mitigation of the effects of noise”. Noise pollution creates an all invading source of intrusion into an environment and can adversely affect people’s wellbeing. These effects are often hard to define precisely but regard must be had to the incidence of noise from any activity.”
“Noise is a sound that is perceptible to an individual and has definable characteristics that modify the individual’s emotional and informational responses to that sound from pleasurable or neutral to adverse.”“Intrusive noise, to an individual, is a sound whose character (such as audibility, dissonance, duration, loudness, tonality, pitch or timbre) is perceived adversely compared to the character of the environment in the absence of that sound.”
1.3. Wellbeing: A Determinant of Good Health
- No adverse effect, pleasurable sounds or peace and tranquillity; quietness
- Minor adverse effect, minor irritation; minor intrusion of noise on occasion external to the home, no modulation or distinctive tonality
- Adverse effects more than minor; intrusive noise audible on occasion within the home, no modulation or distinctive tonality
- Nuisance adverse effect; intrusive noise heard within or exterior to the home on a regular or definable basis, modulation or distinctive tonality may be present; causing anger, annoyance, or adverse health reactions including sleep disturbance
- Significant adverse effect; irrespective of sound character causing annoyance or anger and or adverse health reactions including sleep disturbance.
1.4. The Economics of Quietness
2. Soundscape Analysis in Australia and New Zealand
3. Queensland’s Approach to Amenity and Wellbeing
3.1. The Concept of “Environmental Values”
“It is not intended that, as part of achieving the acoustic quality objectives, any part of the existing acoustic environment be allowed to deteriorate. (p. 9)”“The acoustic quality objectives are to inform the decision making process including any conditions relating to noise levels in relation to the decision. The objectives assist in identifying whether the environmental values are protected. However, meeting the objectives does not always mean that the environmental values are protected and not meeting the objectives does not always mean that the environmental values are not protected. (p. 10)”“The acoustic quality objectives are levels of total noise, which means the objectives include the surrounding noise associated with any given environment and therefore includes the range of noise that may be experienced in the environment. (p. 10)”
3.2. Amenity—Analysis and Examples of Application
“…clearly designed to guard against any adverse effect on the amenity of any new residential development which results from the concrete batching operations.”
“…Amenity in its most obvious and narrow sense might be related to such physical features as sight, sound and smell. In a broader sense, however, it relates to more illusory concepts. To take example suggested by Mr. Cooke, Q.C., for the Appellant, a small funeral parlour might be designed to look like a house. It might have a landscaped, hidden parking area, with a discreet access point so that traffic to and from it is barely noticeable. It might be quiet by day and absolutely silent by night. Yet it would have an unmistakable—air or—feel to it which would have an adverse effect on a residential amenity.”
4. New Zealand’s Approach to Amenity
Measures for Amenity
5. Applying the Different Approaches
Conflict of Interest
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