Further investigation on pockets of quiet within historical city centres: the case of widenings



Making available quiet zones for the urban population is a key factor to offer them the possibility to have restorative experiences and relief from stressful city life. Although these zones are often associated with vast green parks, the latter are usually located outside or far from cities’ centres. Moreover, if we consider the case of historical city centres, they are almost absent.

In previous research, we have focused on searching for alternative quiet spaces that inhabitants and tourists could use as a temporary refuge from urban noise and chaos.

In these studies, we have shown that thanks to their acoustics peculiarities and several other non-acoustic characteristics, the cloisters and the courts of historic buildings have a high potential to induce restoration. Nevertheless, among the narrow streets of the historic cities centres, the widenings can also provide a small contribution to a temporary restoration of people.

This paper investigates the restorative potentiality of these further spaces and compares the outcomes carried out from binaural recordings and in situ interviews with those of cloisters and courts of historic buildings within the ancient city centre of Naples.