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Acoustic design artifacts and methods for urban soundscapes: A case study on the qualitative dimensions of sounds
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE). Department of Fine Art at Konstfack, Crafts, and Design, School of Architecture, Usniversity College of Arts, Stockholm, Sweden .
2014 (English)In: Journal of Architectural and Planning Research, ISSN 0738-0895, Vol. 31, no 1, 57-71 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The amount of noise in urban settings is steadily on the rise, creating a potential health hazard and causing a general nuisance. In major European cities, noise levels are so high that the majority of urban parks can no longer truly serve as recreational environments, a problem the World Health Organization and the European Union are attempting to address. This study explores various strategies that promote the sustainable development of urban soundscapes at locations meant for rest, recreation, and social interaction. Further, we look at how people are affected by the combined effects of traffic and nature sounds in parks and other outdoor settings. To this end, we adopted a new track the use of interdisciplinary methodology that brings together architectural analysis, artistic experiments, and psychoacoustic methodology to evaluate the aesthetic, emotional, perceptual, and spatial effects of noise on subjects spending time in public open-air spaces. We conducted a large-scale case study at a city park to explore whether subjects were affected by purposely distributed sounds and, if so, how The working hypothesis was that it is possible to cancel out or mute traffic noise by affecting individuals' aural perceptions using a process known as informational masking. Our long-term objective is to create a scientific foundation for action plans, both preemptive and troubleshooting, targeting noise reduction in parks' and similar public spaces that are meant to provide a relaxing environment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 31, no 1, 57-71 p.
Keyword [en]
Informational Masking
National Category
Architecture Other Civil Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-147069ISI: 000336194400004ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84901460675OAI: diva2:728960

QC 20140625

Available from: 2014-06-25 Created: 2014-06-23 Last updated: 2014-06-25Bibliographically approved

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Hellström, Björn
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