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Acoustic, Visual and Spatial Indicators for the Description of the Soundscape of Waterfront Areas with and without Road Traffic Flow

1
Department of Architecture and Industrial Design, Seconda Università Degli Studi di Napoli, Via San Lorenzo, Abazia di San Lorenzo, Aversa 81031, Italy
2
National Research Council of Italy, Institute of Acoustics and Sensors “O. M. Corbino”, Via del Fosso del Cavaliere, 100, Roma 00133, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(9), 934; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13090934
Received: 12 May 2016 / Revised: 4 August 2016 / Accepted: 25 August 2016 / Published: 21 September 2016
High flows of road traffic noise in urban agglomerations can negatively affect the livability of squares and parks located at the neighborhood, district and city levels, therefore pushing anyone who wants to enjoy calmer, quieter areas to move to non-urban parks. Due to the distances between these areas, it is not possible to go as regularly as would be necessary to satisfy any needs. Even if cities are densely populated, the presence of a sea or riverfront offers the possibility of large restorative places, or at least with potential features for being the natural core of an urban nucleus after a renewal intervention. This study evaluates the soundscape of the Naples waterfront, presenting an overview of the most significant visual, acoustic and spatial factors related to the pedestrian areas, as well as areas open to road traffic and others where the road traffic is limited. The factors were chosen with feature selection methods and artificial neural networks. The results show how certain factors, such as the perimeter between the water and promenade, the visibility of the sea or the density of green areas, can affect the perception of the soundscape quality in the areas with road traffic. In the pedestrian areas, acoustic factors, such as loudness or the A-weighted sound level exceeded for 10% of the measurement duration (LA10), influence the perceived quality of the soundscape. View Full-Text
Keywords: waterfront; calm area; soundscape; neural network; traffic noise waterfront; calm area; soundscape; neural network; traffic noise
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Puyana Romero, V.; Maffei, L.; Brambilla, G.; Ciaburro, G. Acoustic, Visual and Spatial Indicators for the Description of the Soundscape of Waterfront Areas with and without Road Traffic Flow. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 934.

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