Wei Yang & Jian Kang
Yang, W. & Kang, J. (1). Soundscape and Sound Preferences in Urban Squares: A Case Study in Sheffield. Journal of Urban Design, 10(1), 61–80. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13574800500062395
The general aim of this paper is to demonstrate the significance of intentional soundscape design in urban squares by investigating people’s general perceptions of urban soundscape and sound preferences, and the effects of demographic factors. An intensive questionnaire survey was carried out in two urban squares in Sheffield. Sound identification and classification were both considered. The results show that natural sounds as a group were generally preferred to urban sounds; the preferences of soundscape elements influenced people’s choice of using an urban square; and in terms of sound preference, the differences amongst age groups were rather significant, whereas between males and females only slight differences were found. Finally, some suggestions on soundscape design in urban squares are given.
The results show that natural sounds were generally preferred to urban sounds, the preferences of soundscape elements influenced people’s choice of using an urban square, and the differences amongst age groups were rather significant in terms of sound preference, but only slight between males and females.
Description of method used in the article
An intensive questionnaire survey (1,000 interviews) was carried out in the two squares over four seasons between summer 2001 and spring 2002. The questionnaire includes an evaluation of the sound level and acoustic comfort, the identification of recognized sounds, the classification of sound preference, an indication of wanted and unwanted sounds on the case study sites as well as semi-structured questions related to the preferred relaxing sound environment.
Of practical use