www.chiaramonte-consult.eu The Hague
Good Practice Guide on Quiet Areas


Sound, noise and quiet

Definitions and selection criteria

Health benefits of quiet &  biodiversity 

The economic value of quiet areas

Lessons learned from commitments by MS and other competent authorities

Methods for identifying quiet areas

Recommendations and Conclusions

More on:
- references & useful documents and links
- health effects
- quiet facades
-  protection and monitoring

Disclaimer: this site is based on the published EEA document, but not identical. Over time the differences will increase as more recent material will be added to this site by Chiaramonte Consult. Please send your comments and suggestions for extensions and improvment to info@quietareas.eu.



The Environmental Noise Directive acknowledges the need for reducing excessive noise loads that may affect health and wellbeing, but at the same time calls for “preserving environmental noise quality where it is good”. In addition the END also stresses that it is necessary to “preserve quiet areas in  agglomerations”. Already in the Greenpaper on Future Noise policy this principle was recognized: They (the noise maps) make it easy to recognise the noise exposure and thereby identify areas where action is required and other quiet areas where exposure should not increase .

The END does not go very far in regulating quiet areas.  In Article 2 (1) it states that the Directive shall apply to environmental noise to which humans are exposed particularly ….. in public parks or other quiet areas in an agglomeration. Only in the section on action plans article 8.1.b states that .... Such plans shall also aim to protect quiet areas against an increase in noise. This is logically followed up by the requirement in annex V to report on relevant actions.

In the review report from the first round the absence of any guidance on quiet areas was noted by many member states, leading to listing it as a possibility for technical improvement in the Implementation report by the Commission.

Even the weak focus of the END on quiet areas has led to heightened activity in this field, especially on topics like soundscapes. Several member states installed or intensified their policies  with respect to quiet areas. This means that at this moment there is more knowledge and experience available than at the time of the Greenpaper. This enables the EPoN to collect, order and redistribute this experience for wider use. It has not been possible to derive a single “best practice”; the approaches are too diverse for this. There are things in common of course, and these will be highlighted.

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