The Directive 2002/49/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council relating to the assessment and management of environmental noise and the Italian decree of transposition D.Lgs. 194/2005 introduce the concept of “quiet areas”, either in agglomeration or in open country. Unfortunately, metrological criteria to identify such areas have not been defined yet, mainly due to the lack of knowledge of the effect of noise on their perceived soundscape quality (Nilsson 2007). Several studies carried out over the last decade have shown that it’s more realistic and useful an approach aimed to analyze the perception of the acoustic quality of the environment, rather than using noise indicators describing the sound environment only, i.e. the equivalent sound pressure level (LAeq) or the day-evening-night level (Lden) (Schulte-Fortkamp 2006; Brown 2006, Kang 2007). The importance of “quiet areas”, or even better “areas of high acoustic quality” (Brown 2006), is widely recognized as they provide, at least temporarily, opportunities for relaxation and stress recovery from noise pollution to which the population is exposed in the everyday life. This health-promoting function should be preserved and improved, especially for the urban parks, as they can be easily accessed by the users but, meanwhile, are often surrounded by noisy areas due to the sound emission of road traffic, industries and other sources. This paper describes a socio-acoustic survey carried out in three urban parks in Rome aimed to investigate the users’ perception of the acoustic quality in the parks and its relationship with some acoustic parameters. The study is the first one in the urban green areas in Rome having structure and methodology comparable with the previously surveys carried out in urban parks in Naples and Milan (Brambilla, Maffei & Zambon 2006). A preliminary survey on the web was performed to provide information useful to design the questionnaire to be used in the field survey and to identify the areas to be investigated. The in situ surveys were carried out taking binaural recordings of the sound environment and simultaneous interviews to people in the park. The results of the surveys have been related to the acoustic data determined from the recordings.
S., C., Asdrubali, F., G., B., R., S., F., D., V., G. (2011). Socio-acoustic survey and soundscape analysis in urban parks in Rome. In 10th International Congress on Noise as a Public Health Problem (ICBEN) (pp.830-837). Institute of Acoustics.