Currently, the design of the urban soundscapes has been approached from distinct perspectives, which include, in all cases, the evaluation of how people perceive sound. An effective way to know how people experience an acoustic environment is through the use of simulators, where the inhabitants can design and establish their preferred sound levels. Making these tools available to different urban specialists, so they can be applied in individual common working environments, will allow them to be incorporated into the distinct stages of urban design, considerably improving solutions that promote more pleasant and restorative soundscapes for users. This paper describes the design and testing of a software based on a portable simulation tool whose function is to evaluate the acceptability of a variety of environmental noise sources categorized in four groups—water, birds, music and people. The experiment also evaluates the acceptability of these sounds sources with and without traffic noise mixed into the replayed sound. In order to validate it, two experiments with separate groups of people have been applied in two different places. With the exception of the “people” group of sounds, the results showed no correlation between sound level and acceptability, vibrancy, calmness both with and without the traffic and also the same preferred sounds were chosen in both places. These results suggest that it is possible to make prior participatory listening tests out of the laboratory. Finally, the participants commented that this experience improves their understanding of the acoustic environment and makes them aware of it.
Acoustics Australia – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 5, 2017