Project DeStress is initially focussing on three UK cities, Edinburgh, Sheffield, and Brighton.
Quiet and calm areas have been identified by the public in each of these cities. Analysis of the 857 sites mapped by the public is ongoing. From examining the identified quiet places, the physical and social characteristics of what makes a place quiet will be determined. These will help guide cities in knowing which places it should be protecting as quiet places.
The mapped places helped form the basis of the case study sites where we took sound level measurements and asked people what they heard and how they felt in the place. You can read about our fieldwork trip to the sites in Dr Neil Bruce’s post. In Edinburgh we examined Dunbar’s Close which is an urban garden, just off the Royal Mile. In Sheffield we examined Tudor Square, a central space surrounded by theatres, galleries and libraries. In Brighton and Hove, we examined Palmeira Lawns which is surrounded by white Georgian town houses. In each place we took sound level measurements and asked people what they heard and how they felt in the place. You can read more about the initial results in the publically accessible journal article – “Exploring the relationship between urban quiet areas and perceived restorative benefits“.
Subsequently, we created a virtual environment simulator, creating a model of Sheffield’s Tudor Square and Hove’s Palmeira Lawns. The simulator gives you the chance to redesign these two places and see and hear how this changes the place and your experience. Check out the online simulator here.
Online Mapping Survey for Brighton and Hove, Edinburgh, and Sheffield residents, workers, and visitors can be found here. However unfortunately, the online mapping survey closed for data collection mid October 2019.