Neighbourhood Quiet Area Definition in the Implementation of European Directive 2002/49/EC

G. Licitra , C. Chiari , E. Ascari , D. Palazzuoli

New Zealand Acoustics, 24(4), pp.20- 26 . (2011).

The Directive 2002/49/EC requires that Action Plans for agglomeration should aim to protect quiet areas too: they have to be identified not only in open country, but also in an urban context. However, there is not yet an international agreement and a robust method to perform this identification; many approaches have been proposed from the non-acoustic one (distance from major sources of noise, public accessibility; function as a recreational space; population density; presence of sensitive buildings) to the mixed one, in which a maximum sound level is also fixed (L < 55 dB(A) in an area greater than 4.5 ha). The importance of quiet areas will increase with the second step of the Directive implementation that will regard cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants (more than 1,000 cities in Europe): large parks are not common, so it could be convenient to determine small areas where people could relax without spending too much time to reach a quiet extra-urban location. In this paper a method to determine possible “neighbourhood quiet areas” has been tested in the city of Pisa (Italy) belonging to the second step. Road traffic noise has been recognized as the principal annoying source, therefore, areas with road noise L < 55 dB(A) have been identified and selected with a GIS techniques based on land use (parks, green historical and sensitive areas) and dimensional day criteria. A post-process selection has been performed taking into account also the other noise sources in order to allow decision makers to evaluate resources availability and to develop specific Action Plans.