Revisiting the Concept of Quietness in the Urban Environment—Towards Ecosystems’ Health and Human Well-Being

Tsaligopoulos ( Aggelos Tsaligopoulos )
Kyvelou ( Stella Kyvelou )
Votsi ( Nefta-Eleftheria Votsi )
Karapostoli ( Aimilia Karapostoli )
Economou ( Chris Economou )
Matsinos ( Yiannis G. Matsinos )
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There is plenty of proof that environmental noise is a major pollutant in the urban envi- ronment. Several approaches were successfully applied for its calculation, visualization, prediction and mitigation. The goal of all strategy plans regards its reduction and the creation of quietness. This study aims to revisit the concept of quietness in the urban environment and attempts to portray a new understanding of the specific phenomena. “Quietness” as a term retains an ambiguity, and so far, it can be described as the lack of something, meaning the lack of noise that is portrayed by means of intensity. Several studies describe quietness as the combination of perceptual soundscape elements and contextual factors that can be quantified, combined, weighed and used as indicators of healthy soundscapes. In this research, the focus is on setting aside all indicators, either measuring the intensity or contextual ones and use solely quantifiable metrics regarding the acoustic environment, thus introducing a new composite index called the composite urban quietness index (CUQI). After testing the CUQI, in order to verify the results of previous research regarding the identification of quiet Areas in the city of Mytilene (Lesbos Island, Greece), the study concludes that CUQI is efficiently functioning even in this early stage of development. 
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