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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Exploring the Relationship between Urban Quiet Areas and Perceived Restorative Benefits

The Urban Institute, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh EH14 4AS, UK
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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(9), 1611; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16091611
Received: 29 March 2019 / Revised: 3 May 2019 / Accepted: 5 May 2019 / Published: 8 May 2019
To help mitigate the adverse health impacts of environmental noise, European cities are recommended to identify urban quiet areas for preservation. Procedures for identifying urban quiet areas vary across cities and between countries, and little is known of the strength of the salutogenic (health-promoting) benefits they may provide. Taking a multi-site approach, this study examines the potential of three sites as urban quiet areas and their associated health benefits, particularly in relation to perceived restorative benefits. Across three cities in the United Kingdom, an urban garden, urban park, and an urban square had sound pressure levels measured. Responses from 151 visitors to these sites evaluated the place as quiet, calm, and tranquil, and assessed their experience of the place in terms of perceived sounds, its benefits, how it made them feel, and perceived restoration. Depending on the criteria used, the sites varied in their suitability as urban quiet areas, although all provided perceived health benefits. Relationships between sound levels (subjective and objective) and perceived restoration were not linear, with the type of sounds heard and other aspects of the place experience believed to affect the relationship. Building on this work, a future experimental approach based on the study sites is planned to manipulate the multiple variables involved. This will provide a clearer understanding of the relationship between urban quiet areas and perceived restorative benefits. View Full-Text
Keywords: perceived restoration; public health; quiet area; soundscape; environmental noise; urban park; urban square perceived restoration; public health; quiet area; soundscape; environmental noise; urban park; urban square
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    Doi: https://doi.org/10.17861/3ca48e2d-7a6e-4553-ac3c-3b08a6612d19
    Description: Data Availability: Data used in this paper is openly available from Heriot-Watt University archive system from the 12th September 2019 when the project ends. Any use of the data must include attributions to the paper authors who collected the data. It can be found at https://doi.org/10.17861/3ca48e2d-7a6e-4553-ac3c-3b08a6612d19
MDPI and ACS Style

Payne, S.R.; Bruce, N. Exploring the Relationship between Urban Quiet Areas and Perceived Restorative Benefits. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 1611.

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