• The effects of “greening” urban areas on the perceptions of tranquillity

      Watts, Gregory R. (2017-08)
      Tranquil environments can provide relief from stresses of everyday of life and can be considered restorative environments. This paper considers the effects of “greening” urban environments to enhance tranquillity and ultimately well-being and health benefits. A number of studies have been conducted at the Bradford Centre for Sustainable Environments at the University of Bradford which have examined the effects of natural features on ratings of tranquillity. These include quantifying the effects of the percentage of natural and contextual features and soundscape quality on rated tranquillity. Recently the resulting prediction equation TRAPT (Tranquillity Rating Prediction Tool) has been used to examine a number of scenarios including city parks and squares, country parks and moorland areas and validated using tranquillity ratings made by visitors to these green spaces and their reported levels of relaxation. In this paper TRAPT is used for predicting tranquillity in city squares of different sizes, to examine rated tranquillity behind natural (green) and manufactured noise barriers and to predict changes in urban streets of introducing avenues of trees, hedges and grass verges. Using such scenarios this paper demonstrates how the application of TRAPT can enable changes in tranquillity to be estimated. This can provide planners, environmentalists, civic leaders and concerned citizens with a further tool to guide improvements in the urban environment by “greening” measures and noise reduction of various kinds and to help counter threats such as over development, tree removal or traffic densification that might threaten existing benefits.