Assessments of Urban Soundscapes: Case Studies in Seoul, South Korea

Assessments of Urban Soundscapes: Case Studies in Seoul, South Korea

Joo Young Hong (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore), Pyoung Jik Lee (University of Liverpool, UK) and Jin Yong Jeon (Hanyang University, South Korea)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3637-6.ch003

Abstract

Soundscape refers to the acoustic environment perceived by humans within a given context. This chapter introduces the assessment of urban soundscapes based on recent research conducted in Seoul, South Korea. This chapter begins by describing soundscape data collection and analysis. A participatory soundwalk approach concentrating on the experiences and impressions of each participant is discussed. The conceptual models for soundscapes that are developed from social surveys are also examined. These approaches are used to collect and analyze the soundscape components of an environment. The chapter then discusses soundscape design with natural sounds under laboratory conditions. Various natural sounds such as water sounds are introduced in order to enhance soundscapes and to clarify their acoustical characteristics. This discussion is followed by an examination of the interrelationship between audio-visual components, specifically highlighting the soundscape design of urban streets. Finally, this chapter considers soundscape maps as well as the spatial relationship among soundscape variables.
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Soundscape Data Collection And Analysis

The soundscape research and design process start with collecting soundscape data. Soundscape emphasizes the importance of a holistic approach for better understanding the perceived sound environments within specific spatial contexts. Soundscape is not directly related to acoustic indicators but is instead about the interrelationship between non-acoustic factors including the personal (e.g., attitudes to noise sources), the social-cultural (e.g., expectations of places or types of places) and the situational (e.g., visual properties, time of the day, or meteorological conditions). Thus, soundscape data includes perceptual, physical, and socio-cultural factors. Through the soundscape design process, soundscape data collection and analysis is important to understanding existing soundscapes in locations and to developing a predictive model of soundscapes. The typical methods for soundscape data collection are soundwalks, social surveys, laboratory experiments, behavioral observations, and narrative interviews (Aletta, Kang, & Axelsson, 2016). This section describes a soundwalk (Jeon et al., 2013) and a social survey (Hong & Jeon, 2015), which are both widely adopted approaches in soundscape studies due to their utility and flexibility.

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