Zhang, M. & Kang, J.
Zhang, M., & Kang, J. (2007). Towards the evaluation, description, and creation of soundscapes in urban open spaces. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 34(1), 68–86. https://doi.org/10.1068/b31162
Soundscape is about relationships between the ear, human beings, sound environments, and society. Soundscape research is interdisciplinary. On the basis of a series of case studies in Europe and China and an intensive literature review, the soundscape description, evaluation, and creation in urban open spaces are systematically examined, in terms of four basic elements: sound, space, people, and environment. Factors affecting soundscape evaluation in urban open spaces, including acoustic - psychological - social characteristics of various sounds, acoustic effects of space boundaries and elements, social - demographic characteristics of users, and general physical - environmental conditions, are identified, and, consequently, a system for soundscape description is established. Potentials of creating and designing soundscape in urban spaces are then discussed in terms of sound and space.
The authors offer a methodology for soundscape evaluation, description, and creation involving the following dimensions: sound, space, people, and environment. Soundscape in urban open spaces are more than a noise-control or acoustic issue and must include numerous aspects such as the acoustic - psychological - social characteristics of various sounds, the acoustic effects of boundaries and elements, user demographics, and the general conditions of the surrounding environment.
Description of method used in the article
Fieldwork was conducted to study the soundscapes of 19 urban open spaces in 8 cities. The case included a: questionnaire survey, semantic differential analysis, field measurement, and computer simulations of sound propagation. This work totaled over 10,000 interviews (between 300 and 1000 at each site) and data were analyzed in terms of 4 basic elements: sound, space, people, and environment. Descriptions of soundscapes utilized a framework based on the analysis and involves four facets: sound characteristics, spatial acoustic effects, user demographics, and interactions between acoustic and other physical or environmental factors.
Of practical use