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Assessment of outdoor soundscapes in quiet areas.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2005 (English)In: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Vol. 117, no 4, 2592- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Existing quiet outdoor areas should be preserved. Appropriate indicators and limit values are needed, which are grounded in knowledge on positive aspects of soundscapes, such as perceived pleasantness and psychological restoration. For this reason, a questionnaire study was conducted in four green areas close to a major city and in four city parks. Measured equivalent sound levels (LAeq. 15 min) ranged between 42 and 50 dBA in the green areas, and between 49 and 60 dBA in the city parks. Sounds from nature, such as bird song, completely dominated the soundscape in the green areas. The city-park soundscapes were more complex, containing sounds from nature, as well as technological sounds (e.g., traffic noise), and human sounds (e.g., human voices). In general, sounds from nature were perceived as pleasant, technical sounds as annoying, and human sounds as neutral. Between 84 and 100% of the visitors in the green areas assessed the soundscapes as good or very good. The corresponding percentages for the city parks were distinctly lower, between 52 and 65%. The results indicate that the equivalent sound level should be below 50 dBA in order to secure pleasant and restorative outdoor soundscapes in urban areas.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 117, no 4, 2592- p.
Keyword [en]
green areas, soundscapes, nature
National Category
Psychology Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-13522OAI: diva2:180042
Available from: 2008-04-10 Created: 2008-04-10 Last updated: 2011-01-12Bibliographically approved

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Nilsson, Mats E
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