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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(1), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16010134

Implementation of Quiet Areas in Sweden

1
Department of Landscape Architecture, Planning and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, 230 53 Alnarp, Sweden
2
Sound Environment Center, Lund University, 222 10 Lund, Sweden
Parts of this work have been presented previously at the 2018 Euronoise in Crete, Greece, and the 2018 AESOP Congress in Gothenburg, Sweden. The study has also been described in a research report entitled “Tysta områden i Sverige” from the Sound Environment Center at Lund University, Sweden.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 November 2018 / Revised: 19 December 2018 / Accepted: 20 December 2018 / Published: 7 January 2019
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Abstract

The notion of quiet areas has received increasing attention within the EU in recent years. The EU Environmental Noise Directive (END) of 2002 stipulates that member states should map existing quiet areas and formulate strategies to keep these quiet. Quiet areas could play an important role in balancing densified urban development by ensuring access to relative quietness and associated health benefits. This paper reports on a recent study investigating how the notion of quiet areas has been implemented in Sweden. The study, initiated by the Sound Environment Center in 2017, was carried out in two phases. In phase one, an overview of the current situation was obtained by scrutinizing regional and municipal mapping initiatives, aided by a short digital questionnaire sent out to all 290 municipalities in Sweden. This provided a general understanding and highlighted initiatives for further study in phase two. The results revealed that 41% (n = 118) of Sweden’s municipalities include quiet areas in their general plans, but that significantly fewer of these have sophisticated strategies for implementation (n = 16; 6%). Moreover, the interest in quiet areas in municipalities does not seem to be directly related to the END, but is instead inspired by previous regional initiatives in Sweden. The study highlights a number of considerations and examples of how quiet areas are approached in Sweden today. In general, Sweden has come a long way in terms of identifying and mapping quiet areas, but more progress is needed in developing strategies to protect, maintain, and publicize quiet areas. View Full-Text
Keywords: quiet areas; environmental noise; noise abatement; soundscape design; landscape planning; urban planning; general plan; sustainability quiet areas; environmental noise; noise abatement; soundscape design; landscape planning; urban planning; general plan; sustainability
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Cerwén, G.; Mossberg, F. Implementation of Quiet Areas in Sweden. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 134.

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