Antonella Radicchi

Antonella Radicchi

Architect and Urbanist, PhD


Figure above: Sunset at the Spree, Berlin. Copyright: Ansgar Koreng. Image source: Wikipedia


Against the contemporary disciplinary debate on the creation of river baths as a means of regaining rivers for public life and improving environmental quality, this article presents the treatment of the Spree River in Berlin, by analysing three projects: the Spreeweg, the Flussbad Berlin and the Spree2011/WITE. To develop the research, which feeds this article, mixed methods were applied, such as historical sources consultation, literature and planning documents review, interviews and empirical research. The analysis of the three projects showed potentialities for addressing ecological, hydrological, engineering and environmental issues, in light of sustainable development. However, it remains unclear what forms and at what scale these possibilities will be implemented in practice in Berlin.

This article, written in Italian, is open access and published in the Scientific Journal EcoWebTown. Journal of Sustainable Design, no. 21.




I would like to thank Felix Bentlin for sharing historical writings and information on the development of water infrastructure in the context of the Hobrecht Plan (private email correspondence); Christian Hajer for the information on urban development in Berlin and the Spree River (telephone interview); Ralf Steeg for the documentation and information provided in relation to the Spree2011 project and the WITE system (private email correspondence); Sabine Kopetzki and Uwe Borgenhagen for providing materials and maps of the Spreeweg and the Berlin’s Twenty Green Walks Plan (private email correspondence); Dietrich Henckel for valuable comments on the text; Rosario Pavia for the kind invitation to write this article.


COVER-SOSE2020-© Dilara Ünlüel 2020
Figure above: Nature and the City. Pictures taken in Berlin by the student Dilara Ünlüel © 2020


Seminar: M 6.2 Ökonomie der Stadterneuerung: “Sustainability and Urban Renewal” 
TU Berlin, Institute of City and Regional Planning | Summer Semester 2020 & 2021 | online course (2h/w)
Instructor: Dr. Arch. Antonella Radicchi

Currently, there is a growing concern with regard to health and supporting concepts like sustainability, liveability and well-being in science, economy, policy, and planning. More than ever before, those themes are dominating programs of major cities and governments, recently in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. These programmes have in common a renovated interest in the “public space agenda”. Hereby, public spaces are considered as key ingredients for creating more socially, economically and ecologically responsible and sustainable cities. Apart from that, there is also increased attention in supra-national organizations (e.g. World Health Organization, European Commission) and their pertinent agendas (e.g. the 7th EC Environmental Action Programme) to align to global challenges of the SDGs and find solutions. Accordingly, a majority of European cities are now implementing policies for sustainable urban planning and design, where aspects of their environmental performance are under particular scrutiny.
Against this backdrop, the aim of this course is to critically reflect on the current debate on Sustainable Cities, by looking at the interface of policy/practice so to assess how sustainability policies have been implemented through urban renewal projects. Berlin will be taken as a case study city and the UN Sustainable Development Goal no. 3 Good Health and Well-Being and no. 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities as a reference. Public spaces will act as a reference spatial framework for the development of this study. Policies and urban renewal projects will be presented, addressing four increasingly relevant themes, i.e. urban noise and quiet areas; nature and the city; artificial light and the urban night; and walkable cities. Students will be encouraged to use neighbourhoods where they live as case studies for the development of the individual fieldwork exercises.


Summer Semester 2020, 2021


TU Berlin, Institute of Urban and Regional Planning




For the Journal Frontiers in Psychology (Impact Factor 2.129 [JCR, 2019], section: Environmental Psychology), Drs. Jieling Xiao, Francesco Aletta and I are curating a Research Topic on Smells, Well-being, and the Built Environment. Below an excerpt from the Call for Contributions, open until 30 November 2020.

“From the pungent smells of Khari Baoli Spice Market in New Delhi to soothing smells of Mayfair Lavender Farm in south London, smells bring distinct identities to places and can connect people emotionally to the surroundings. Smells are powerful to influence our feeling and recall memories of the past. Experiences of smells enrich our understandings of places and behavioral responses in places. In light of aromatherapies, spaces with therapeutic smells can potentially bring positive impacts on human wellbeing. In service spaces, smells are important environmental cues to delight people. In artistic practice, smells are curated to create an immersive experience to connect the audience and artists’ inner worlds. Conversely smells in the form of odor pollution deriving from waste, traffic, plants, and food districts can compromise the quality of life of residents, and negatively affect our experience of places and lead to behavior changes.

Smell, as a wellbeing-spatial medium, how much do we know about?

We aim to collect a body of work to understand the emotional and wellbeing responses resulted from smells in different public spaces (museums, highstreets, heritage buildings, food districts, gentrified neighborhoods, squares, etc.) to inform future spatial design and management.

In particular, the collection wishes to contribute three parts of literature:

  • Theoretical frameworks to understand relationships between smells, wellbeing and emotions, behaviors and physiological aspects;
  • Methodological approaches to measure smell triggered emotions, experiences, and quality of life;
  • Practical explorations on the process and challenges of using smells to trigger emotions and manipulate behaviors.

We welcome cross-disciplinary contributions from architecture, geography, urban design and planning, psychology, neuroscience, business management, art and cultural studies, environmental planning, environmental justice, gentrification studies, citizen science. The collection is open to a broad range of article types, including Original Research, Review, Hypothesis and Theory, Perspective, Brief Research Report, and Case Study. Please note that Authors may include audios and videos as supplementary materials”.

Keywords: wellbeing, emotions, smell perception, smell scape, environmental odors, sensory urbanism, spatial design and management, environmental planning, citizen science.




Figure above: Map of the small quiet areas, crowdsourced with the Hush City app in Manhattan.


In New York, privately owned public spaces (POPS) are spaces owned and managed by the private sector and accessible to the public by law. They are created by developers in exchange for the provision of space or tax reduction, and are regulated by zoning policies. A scrutiny of previous studies about New York City POPS shows that no studies have explicitly evaluated them as spaces that can provide “opportunities for quiet respite” from the city, nor have they focused on the physical and immaterial characteristics which can make these spaces beneficial for our physical and mental health. I addressed this gap in literature in the article: “Are privately owned public spaces effective design and planning tools that can favour the creation of healthy, public spaces in contemporary cities? Notes from an empirical study in New York“,  where I present the results of an empirical study I conducted in New York in the Spring 2019. After providing an overview of the evolution of the regulatory status of POPS in New York, the fieldwork study is introduced, and the empirically grounded methods, drawn from auto-ethnography and soundscape studies, are presented. Subsequently, results are outlined, consisting of a map of twenty spaces, selected by applying a qualitative approach to data synthesis informed by the Sixteen Hush City Qualities framework. In conclusion, limitations of the study are discussed and preliminary recommendations are given, referring to the NYC Zoning Resolution. Further research will be needed to fully assess these findings and finalize them in the form of recommendations, which could inform planners and policy makers on how to continue their goals in developing regulations that can guide the private sector to produce healthy urban environments.

The article, written in English, is free and open access, published in Talia M. (ed), La città contemporanea: un gigante dai piedi d’argilla. Proceedings of the International Conference Urbanpromo XVI edizione Progetti per il Paese. Planum Publisher, Roma-Milano, pp. 340-346. SBN 9788899237226




This research study in New York was part of the “Hush City Mobile Lab” project (2018-2020), conducted by Dr. Antonella Radicchi as the principal investigator, and supported by the HEAD-Genuit Foundation (grant number: P-17/08-W). The support of the Foundation is gratefully acknowledged. During the research stay the author was visiting HEAD-Genuit Foundation Senior Fellow at the New York University, hosted by NYU Prof. Tae Hong Park. The author is grateful to Dr. Arline Bronzaft and NYU Prof. Park for their precious mentorship during the research stay as well as to the public officials, scholars, professionals, activists and soundwalkers for their generous participation in the research and dissemination activities.





The EU-Citizen.Science project “is an online platform for sharing knowledge, tools, training and resources for citizen science – by the community, for the community. The vision for the platform is to aid in the mainstreaming of citizen science, and build on the growing impact of citizens participating in research across the full range of scientific enquiry, by supporting the sharing of knowledge, know-how, and experience between anyone doing or wanting to do citizen science. On the platform you will find:

  • A Resources section for sharing useful citizen science resources.
  • A Projects section for sharing and profiling citizen science projects.
  • A Training section for sharing training modules and capacity building.
  • An events calendar.
  • Community Forums for questions, conversations, and collaboration.”

Text Source: EU-Citizen.Science website. Read more about the project, its vision, mission, and objectives here.




The EU-Citizen.Science project has been funded by the European Commission Horizon 2020 programme, in the Science with and for Society programme of work (also known as SwafS). The EU-Citizen.Science consortium consists of 14 partners and 9 third parties from across 14 European member states, as well as other project supporters. Read more about the Team here.
Antonella Radicchi has been proudly part of the Team since August 2020 as a scientific project manager.

Citizen-generated data for public policy

The Joint Research Center (JRC), the European Commission’s science and knowledge service, has recently published an open access Technical Report on citizen-generated data projects which have an impact on public policy (Ponti & Craglia 2020).

We are honored that Hush City has been featured in this Report, and we would like to share with you a brief overview of its content*.

According to the authors, the main aim of the Report is to raise open questions on what citizen-generated data can do for:

  • experimenting new forms of public participation
  • rethinking the relationships between citizens and local governments, and
  • understanding new emerging roles for citizens and local governments.

The Report presents 18 European projects, which have two common characteristics. They are driven by: 1) the concern about local problems that affect citizens’ quality of life, and 2) the need to provide evidence for local authorities to take action, by involving citizens to collect data on environmental issues, e.g. air and water quality.

The Report describes in greater detail five projects, by means of interviews conducted with the organisers of selected projects. Hush City is among these five projects and extracts of the interview with Antonella Radicchi are included throughout the text.

Three main aspects of citizen-generated data and how they reconfigure the relationship between citizens and the public sector, are identified in the Report.

First, digital technologies can change the way citizens look at the environment, and facilitate data creation as a meaningful social activity. In turn, citizen-generated data projects hold the potential to turn citizens into agents of change in the places where they live.

Second, citizen-generated data hold the potential to enable citizens to “achieve” citizenship. In fact, by collecting data, citizens can take up responsibility and help in solving urban problems.

Third, citizen-generated data may not be as accurate as data produced for regulatory compliance. However, it could raise different concerns and possibilities, useful to integrate the representation of reality provided by official data.

Did you like this overview? Then, read the full Report here.

Do you regularly participate in citizen-generated data projects? Share your experience with us, by sending an email to

Quiet regards from Berlin,
The Hush City Mobile Lab Team

* Data and text source: Ponti M. and Craglia M. Citizen-generated data for public policy, European Commission, Ispra, 2020 JRC120231

Hush City 4 the International Year of Sound 2020

Do you know that 2020 is the International Year of Sound?

The International Year of Sound – according to the dedicated website – “is a global initiative to highlight the importance of sound and related sciences and technologies for all in society. The International Year of Sound will consist of coordinated activities […] [which] will aim to stimulate the understanding throughout the world of the important role that sound plays in all aspects of our society. As well, these activities will also encourage an understanding of the need for the control of noise in nature, in the built environment, and in the workplace”.

To celebrate the International Year of Sound 2020, Antonella set up the 2020 Global Program of Hush City Soundwalks, which will take place in multiple cities worldwide throughout the year. Starting on April 29, 2020, for the celebration of the International Noise Awareness Day and continuing during the year, a number of Hush City Soundwalks will be guided by different soundwalk leaders in multiple locations worldwide, using the Hush City app.

Celebrate with us the International Year of Sound and join a Hush City Soundwalk!
It’s simple.

  • Have a look here at the 2020 Global Program of Hush City Soundwalks
  • Find the Hush City Soundwalk you would like to join
  • Make sure to download Hush City app prior to the event
  • If curious, read A Pocket Guide to Soundwalking
  • Join the Hush City Soundwalk & enjoy it!
  • Share with us your experience, by using the hashtags: #IYS2020 #HushCitySoundwalks

Or… Take the lead and organize a Hush City Soundwalk in your city!

  • Read the How-To Leaflet  on how to design and lead a Hush City Soundwalk
  • If you wish, read A Pocket Guide to Soundwalking 
  • Download Hush City app and familiarize yourself with it prior to the soundwalk
  • Set up a route, schedule the event and involve your community in the soundwalk
  • Share with us the information related to the Hush City Soundwalk, if you wish to be part of the 2020 Global Program
  • & Happy Hush City Soundwalking!

If you wish to lead a Hush City Soundwalk and become a Hush City Ambassador, get in touch with us and send an email to

Quiet regards from Berlin,
The Hush City Mobile Lab Team

The 2020 Global Program of Hush City Soundwalks is coordinated by Antonella Radicchi in her role of inventor and manager of the Hush City app, and each Hush City Soundwalk is hosted and managed by the different soundwalk leaders & local references, as indicated in the Program.
The Global Program of Hush City Soundwalks is part of the Hush City Mobile Lab project (2018-2020), which has received funding from the HEAD-Genuit Foundation.
The first version of the Hush City app received funding from the People Programme (Marie Curie Actions) of the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under REA grant agreement no. 600209 (TU Berlin – IPODI).
The second version of the Hush City app received funding from the HEAD-Genuit Foundation.




Hush City is a free, citizen science mobile app, which empowers people to identify and assess quiet areas in cities as to create an open access, web-based map of quiet areas, with the potential of orientating plans and policies for healthier living, in response to issues framed by European environmental policies (e.g. the EC END 49/2002).

Our cities are becoming noisier by the hour. Only in Europe, over 125 million people are affected by noise pollution from traffic every year (EEA 2014), and apparently, quietness is becoming a luxury available only to a few of us. By using this free mobile app, you will contribute to making quietness available to all those who appreciate it and you will generate open data, which can be exploited by policy makers and planners to monitor and protect the quiet areas crowdsourced.

Hush City app will help you to identify, access and evaluate everyday quiet areas in your neighbourhoods. You can find places such as small, quiet spots where you can go to escape the city’s chaos, relax, read a book, play with your kids, and have a pleasant conversation.

Launched in 2017 within the context of a pilot study in Berlin, Hush City is now used internationally and available in 5 languages: English, German, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese.

Hush City is adopted by the City Councils of Berlin (2018) and Limerick (2020-2021) for the creation of the Quiet Areas Plans.

Join the Hush City community. It is simple!

  • Download the free Hush City app and install it on your smartphone
  • Go to one of your favourite quiet places
  • Launch the Hush City app and click on the button “Map the quietness around you”
  • Record the sound of the quiet place where you are and measure its sound levels*
  • Take a picture of the place where you recorded the sound
  • Answer the questions addressing the environmental quality of this quiet place
  • Share this information with the Hush City community.

Or, use the app to find a quiet spot near to you. Go to it and enjoy spending some time there.

* Please be aware that noise levels measured by the mobile app, may not be entirely accurate, depending on which smartphones are used, weather conditions and other factors.


Watch the Hush City Teaser here. This video was made by Limerick City & County Council, with the support of the EPA.


Hush City app is available on iTunesGoogle Play Stores.


Using the Hush City app, you can:

  • Crowdsource  your favourite quiet areas and share them with the Hush City community;
  • Identify and access quiet areas in your city or in other cities worldwide, shared by the Hush City users;
  • Filter the quiet areas according to their sound levels, descriptors used to tag them, quietness, visual quality and accessibility, as perceived by the users who crowdsourced the quiet areas;
  • Share the quiet areas via social media;
  • Review your personal surveys and delete them anytime without justification;
  • Become a Hush City Ambassador;
  • Give feedback on the Hush City project.


The quiet areas crowdsourced with the Hush City app are open access and available on line via the Hush City Map.


Hush City is included in the EC Joint Research Centre Technical Report (Ponti & Craglia 2020) among the European citizen-generated data projects impacting public policy; and in the European Commission staff working document (2020). Best Practices in Citizen Science for Environmental Monitoring.

As a citizen science analytical tool, Hush City is featured in the WHO/UN-Habitat Sourcebook (Grant et al. 2020) Integrating health in urban and territorial planning.

Hush City is adopted by the City Councils of Berlin (2018) and Limerick (2020-2021) within the context of creation of the Quiet Areas Plans.  See also: Berlin Senate (2020). Lärmaktionsplan Berlin 2019-2023. Senatsverwaltung für Umwelt, Verkehr und Klimaschutz Öffentlichkeitsarbeit, Berlin.

Full list of Press Coverage is available here.


2021 John Connell Soundscape Award

2019 Prix BLOXHUB Interactive, Category: Excellence, Honorary mention. Theme: “Making Urban Space More Liveable Using Digital Technology”.

2016 Falling Walls Young Innovator of the Year Award, Finalist.


April 2017, 1st version; May 2018, 2nd version


Hush City has been invented by Dr. Arch. Antonella Radicchi.
The Hush City’s idea originates from the concept of the Hush Expo app envisioned by Dr. Arch. Antonella Radicchi for the EXPO Milan in 2015, whose mock-up was designed by Dr. Arch. Antonella Radicchi in collaboration with Roberto Lombardo.
Hush City has subsequently been developed and implemented by Dr. Arch. Antonella Radicchi at the Technical University of Berlin, in her role as the Principal Investigator of the following projects:

  •  “Beyond the Noise: Open Source Soundscapes” (2016-2018) funded by the IPODI-Marie Curie Fellowship – People Program (TU Berlin/IPODI grant agreement no. 600209)
  •  “Hush City Mobile Lab” (2018-2020) funded by the HEAD-Genuit Foundation [research grant P-17/08-W].

Project Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Dietrich Henckel (Technical University of Berlin), Diol. Ing. Jörg Kaptain (Berlin Senate, Senate Department for the Environment, Transport and Climate Protection).
Soundscape Advisor: Prof. Dr. Brigitte Schulte-Fortkamp (Technical University of Berlin).
Acoustic Advisors: Dipl. Ing. Michael Jäcker-Cüppers (ALD, Technical University of Berlin), M.A. Manuel Frost (Berlin Senate, Senate Department for the Environment, Transport and Climate Protection), Dipl. Ing. Mattia Cobianchi (Bowers & Wilkins, UK).
The implementation of the Portuguese language in the mobile and web-based version of the app was funded by the Brazilian Association for Acoustical Quality – ProAcustica.




Welcome to the Hush City Map!
Here you can explore the quiet areas collected by people in your city and worldwide by using the Hush City app!
The colored markers on the map represent the quiet areas. You can click on them to read the user feedback, have a look at the pictures, and listen to the sounds!
You can also review the quiet areas through the list view mode, if you prefer, by clicking on the list view mode icon.
Or you can filter the quiet areas and visualize them according to their noise levels, the descriptors used by the users to tag them, their perceived quietness, the overall visual quality and their accessibility.
The legend will explain you how to read the colors and the meaning of the numbers placed on the markers.

We hope you will enjoy your digital journey through the Hush City Map. Please, let us know how it goes.

Happy (quiet) surfing!

And… if you like, you can always join the Hush City community and help us in making our world a quieter place to live. Just click here to download the free Hush City app.




The Hush City web-platform was  developed within the context of the Hush City Mobile Lab project, which has received funding from the HEAD-Genuit Foundation [P-17/08-W].




  • 2021 John Connell Soundscape Award, Winner.
  • 2019 Prix BLOXHUB Interactive, Category: Excellence, Honorary mention. Theme: “Making Urban Space More Liveable Using Digital Technology”.
  • 2016 Falling Walls Young Innovator of the Year 2016 Award, Finalist.
  • 2012 Research Award Città di Firenze (City of Florence): Best Dissertation in Urbanism to be published as a monograph with the Publisher Firenze University Press.
  • 2010 Italian National Institute of Urbanism (INU) Best Italian Dissertation in Territorial Planning Award.


  • 2020-2018. HEAD-Genuit Foundation Research Grant, research project: “Hush City Mobile Lab”
    (201.863,20 €).
  • 2016-2018. Marie Curie Fellowship (TU Berlin /Marie Curie-Ipodi Program), research project: “Beyond the Noise: Open Source Soundscapes” (135.000 €).
  • 2018 American Society of Acoustics Travel Grant.
  • 2017 American Society of Acoustics Travel Grant.
  • 2017 HEAD-Genuit Foundation Travel Grant
  • 2016 TU Berlin Career Development Grant, research project: Hush City (800 €).
  • 2007-2008 Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholarship, one-year doctoral research expedition at the School of Architecture and Planning, MIT, Cambridge, USA (26.000 €).
  • 2006-2009 Italian Ministry of Research Scholarship for attending the School of Doctorate, Faculty of Architecture, University of Firenze, Florence, Italy (approx. 28.800 €).


My scientific research outputs informed/were cited in the following documents released by national and international organisations:

  • European Commission staff working document (2020). Best Practices in Citizen Science for Environmental Monitoring.
  • Ponti & Craglia (2020). Citizen-generated data for public policy. European Commission Joint Research Centre Technical Report. EC ISPRA, Italy.
  • Grant, M. (2020). Integrating health in urban and territorial planning: a sourcebook. WHO/UN-Habitat Publisher.
  • Berliner Senate (2020). Lärmaktionsplan Berlin 2019-2023. Senatsverwaltung für Umwelt, Verkehr und Klimaschutz Öffentlichkeitsarbeit, Berlin.
  • The Municipality of Berlin (2018) and Limerick City Council (2020-2021) adopted the Hush City app for the creation of the Quiet Areas Plans, within the context of the respective Noise Action Plans.



2010 – Present