US scientist lists this Taiwan urban park among world’s most ‘quiet places’

Qingtiangang Grassland, Yangmingshan National Park. (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

TAIPEI (The China Post) — With more than half of the world population living in urban areas, “quiet places,” meaning locations void of man-made noises, are becoming increasingly difficult to find.

For this reason, American scientist Gordon Hempton decided to launch the “Quiet Parks International” (QPI) in 2018, with Taiwan’s Yangmingshan National Park awarded the “World’s first Urban Quiet Park” in 2020.

Purple hydrangea flowers in Yangmingshan National Park. (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

According to Hempton, by “using sound level meters, sound recordings and two trained observers for three days, 24/7,” QPI aims to identify places free of man-made noise to certify and preserve them.

Gordon Hempton is pictured in this file photo. (Photo courtesy of @MOTA-Museum of Transitory Art/Facebook)

The “Quiet Places” are compiled into six categories: Wilderness quiet parks, urban quiet parks, quiet trails, marine quiet parks, quiet residences and communities and quiet stays.

After losing and regaining his hearing between 2003 and 2004, Hempton became extremely aware of what the world would be like if “quiet” disappeared. 

Gordon Hempton reportedly lost and regained his hearing between 2003 and 2004. (Photo courtesy of @ClimateLeave/Facebook)

“I know it sounds strange but I went back to the quiet to ask questions and for advice. The quiet immediately answered. It told me that quiet should be for everyone,” he says. Thus, QPI was born. 

The need for quiet spaces in urban areas has become increasingly important, according to Singapore-based blogger Michelle Lim, who deem Yangmingshan a sanctuary where one doesn’t have to travel far to “head to somewhere peaceful and quiet.” 

Singapore-based blogger Michelle Lim views Yangmingshan as the perfect place to recharge without traveling too far. (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

As of press time, QPI has identified 262 spaces across the world with many still awaiting evaluation and protection from noise.