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Soundscape Quality in Suburban Green Areas and City Parks


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According to guidelines proposed in Sweden, at least 80% of the visitors in quiet areas should perceive the sound environment as good. This was the starting point for a questionnaire study on "soundscape quality" in four suburban green areas and in four city parks. The soundscapes in the suburban areas were completely dominated by sounds from nature (e.g., bird song and sounds from water), whereas traffic noise was a main component of the city-park soundscapes. Measured equivalent sound levels (from all sources) ranged from 42 to 50 dBA in the suburban green areas, and from 49 to 60 dBA in the city parks (LAeq, 15min). "Soundscape quality" was assessed by a five-point bipolar category scale. Among the respondents, 84–100% in the suburban green areas and 53–65% in the city parks assessed the soundscape as "Good" or "Very good". Thus, all suburban green areas but none of the city parks reached the stipulated goal (at least 80%). The soundcape quality was confirmed by attribute profiling using a set of 12 adjectives. Based on the visitor's responses, it is concluded that good soundscape quality can only be achieved if the traffic noise exposure in suburban green areas and city parks during day time is below 50 dBA.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2006

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  • Acta Acustica united with Acustica, published together with the European Acoustics Association (EAA), is an international, peer-reviewed journal on acoustics. It publishes original articles on all subjects in the field of acoustics, such as general linear acoustics, nonlinear acoustics, macrosonics, flow acoustics, atmospheric sound, underwater sound, ultrasonics, physical acoustics, structural acoustics, noise control, active control, environmental noise, building acoustics, room acoustics, acoustic materials, acoustic signal processing, computational and numerical acoustics, hearing, audiology and psychoacoustics, speech, musical acoustics, electroacoustics, auditory quality of systems. It reports on original scientific research in acoustics and on engineering applications. The journal considers scientific papers, technical and applied papers, book reviews, short communications, doctoral thesis abstracts, etc. In irregular intervals also special issues and review articles are published.
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