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Dzhambov, Angel M.; Markevych, Iana; Tilov, Boris; Arabadzhiev, Zlatoslav; Stoyanov, Drozdstoj; Gatseva, Penka; Dimitrova, Donka D. (2018): Lower Noise Annoyance Associated with GIS-Derived Greenspace: Pathways through Perceived Greenspace and Residential Noise. In: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Vol. 15, No. 7, 1533
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Abstract

Growing amounts of evidence support an association between self-reported greenspace near the home and lower noise annoyance;however, objectively defined greenspace has rarely been considered. In the present study, we tested the association between objective measures of greenspace and noise annoyance, with a focus on underpinning pathways through noise level and perceived greenspace. We sampled 720 students aged 18 to 35 years from the city of Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Objective greenspace was defined by several Geographic Information System (GIS)-derived metrics: Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), tree cover density, percentage of green space in circular buffers of 100, 300 and 500 m, and the Euclidean distance to the nearest structured green space. Perceived greenspace was defined by the mean of responses to five items asking about its quantity, accessibility, visibility, usage, and quality. We assessed noise annoyance due to transportation and other neighborhood noise sources and daytime noise level (L-day) at the residence. Tests of the parallel mediation models showed that higher NDVI and percentage of green space in all buffers were associated with lower noise annoyance, whereas for higher tree cover this association was observed only in the 100 m buffer zone. In addition, the effects of NDVI and percentage of green space were mediated by higher perceived greenspace and lower L-day. In the case of tree cover, only perceived greenspace was a mediator. Our findings suggest that the potential for greenspace to reduce noise annoyance extends beyond noise abatement. Applying a combination of GIS-derived and perceptual measures should enable researchers to better tap individuals' experience of residential greenspace and noise.