Environmental tranquility: A conceptual framework and urban ‎architectural features

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Architecture, Hamedan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Hamedan, Iran.

2 Department of Architecture, Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran.


Stressful life and reduced well-being have always been an issue of lifestyle in modern society. Constructing a multidisciplinary conceptual framework of environmental tranquility and quality of life is required for the field of architectural development, improved environmental quality, and enhanced human well-being. This paper reviews the main concepts of tranquility, environmental quality, and quality of life and presents examples of the relevant underlying conceptual models. Environmental tranquility has been researched quite broadly and therefore defined in a variety of ways. In this study, various definitions of the concept are reviewed and synthesized into a descriptive model based on the relationship among human needs, environment, and tranquility, depending on environmental, architectural, and urban features. The present study adheres to a qualitative exploratory design and uses content analysis based on an interpretive paradigm. For data collection, we employed a documentary and library method together with an argumentative approach to deepen the understanding of the issue and provide a descriptive model of environmental tranquility based on the theoretical grounds of tranquility in the fields of environmental psychology, social sciences, applied acoustics and landscape, and urban planning. The framework organizes the related concepts of environmental tranquility‎ in relation to human needs in terms of spiritual, psychological, social, and physical environment features. Finally, the model of environmental tranquility is presented according to the authors' perception of previous models. In our suggested model, all environment types have reciprocal relationship with tranquility, and the highest type of tranquility is considered the Reassured Soul and Genius Loci‎ that is more permanent and effective. Besides, the model depicts a multidimensional and conceptual definition of tranquility in relation to environment, human, and architectural-urban features. This study may offer helpful insights to stimulate new research, investigate multidimensionality, create operational definitions for quantitative studies, and guide semi-structured interviews for qualitative interdisciplinary studies.


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