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Listening to a City With the Soundwalk Method

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Urban sounds are a characteristic part of a city's identity. This paper deals with a method for the evaluation of some characteristics of an urban soundscape. The method is supposed to help urban planners and other town designers to improve the outside acoustics in cities. Besides this, architects pay attention to the way in which transition from one place to another is organised. The method which is supposed to assess urban soundscape is based on the so-called soundwalk, which could be very illustrative for this suggestion. Soundwalks are sound recordings made with a binaural system (SEB) and a DAT recorder, on walks along a route with different urban forms. The different data (commented analyse of each track, recordings, photos, map,…) extracted from the soundwalks are examined in order to gather information about the relationship between the urban characteristics, urban activities and the sound environment. The acoustical images (time versus frequency graphs) of the sound signals can be seen as a representation of the soundscapes. The purpose of this approach is to enable us to evaluate what is pleasant and relevant in an urban sound environment in accordance with activities in the area.
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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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