(2021) Ecological connectivity of urban quiet areas: the case of Mytilene, Greece, Cities & Health, 5:1-2, 20-32.
The degree of functional and structural connectivity of landscapes is a critical issue that could be associated with numerous ecological processes at various scales, in rural and urban environments. The purpose of this research is to evaluate the ecological connectivity of two quiet areas in the city of Mytilene (Greece), using the DPSIR (Driving force–Pressure–State–Impact–Response) framework, which focuses on the description of environmental problems. The application of the DPSIR framework provided feedback regarding the urban acoustic environment of the two quiet areas. Two maps were created with the purpose of assessing impact of road traffic noise on the two quiet areas: a noise map, using the CadnaA software and an acoustic complexity map using the free open source QGiS software. The noise level measurements and the Acoustic Complexity Index were statistically analyzed. The results showed a strong negative correlation due to background traffic noise, diminishing the complexity of the acoustic environment. Furthermore, the results are exploited to develop plans addressing the structural and functional connection of Mytilene’s quiet areas. In conclusion, recommendations are provided so as to preserve urban quiet areas, promoting ecological connectivity and limiting the negative effects of noise on human health and the environment.