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Effects of landscape on soundscape perception: Soundwalks in city parks

By J. Liu, J. Kang, H. Behm and T. Luo


The present study analyses the effects of the physical characteristics of the visual landscape on soundscape perception in city parks, based on information gathered in field surveys using a specifically designed soundwalk method in five city parks in China. Three soundscape parameters were conceived, including perceived loudness of individual sounds (PLS), perceived occurrences of individual sounds (POS) and soundscape diversity index (SDI), which were found to correlate and should thus be applied in concert. Physical characteristics of the visual landscape were analysed from two perspectives, i.e., by on-site landscape composition and local landscape spatial patterns. The results suggest that the percentage of buildings, vegetation and sky in panoramic views (here photos) were effective landscape elements influencing soundscape perception. The landscape shape index of buildings and water areas (LSI_B, LSI_W) and the patch cohesion index of water areas (COHESION_W) showed positive effects on the perception of human sounds. The percentage of roads (PLAND_R) and the largest patch index of roads (LPI_R) were related to traffic sounds. Both the PLS and POS of biological sounds were negatively related to LPI_W and LSI_B, respectively, whilst the POS of biological sounds was positively related to PLAND_R, and LSI_R. COHESION_R was the only index negatively related to both the PLS and POS of geophysical sounds. SDI only showed positive relationship with PLAND_W. Overall, the results reveal that local landscape spatial patterns could be more influential on soundscape perception than on-site landscape composition. The study proposed introducing soundscape information from different sources into landscape management

Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2014
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