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Article

Soundscape Perceptions and Preferences for Different Groups of Users in Urban Recreational Forest Parks

1
College of Landscape Architecture and Arts, Northwest A&F University, Xianyang 712100, China
2
Department of Urban and Rural Development, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, P.O. Box 7012, SE-75007 Uppsala, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These two authors contribute equally to this work.
Academic Editors: Michael Andreu and Robert J. Northrop
Forests 2021, 12(4), 468; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12040468
Received: 12 March 2021 / Revised: 5 April 2021 / Accepted: 9 April 2021 / Published: 12 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban and Urbanizing Forest Management)
Although the soundscape in cities is receiving increased attention in urban planning, there is still a lack of knowledge of how personal factors influence the perception of and preference for soundscapes. Most present studies are linked to one or a few specific soundscapes and do not have a holistic approach exploring the pros and cons of all soundscapes in a place. This study surveyed individuals to assess how soundscape perceptions and preferences may differ among various attendees of typical urban forest recreational parks in Xi’an, China, using an on-site questionnaire. The respondents (N = 2034) revealed that rare natural sounds were perceived more positively than the dominating artificial sounds. Five main dimensions of social, demographic, and behavioral attributes were found to be linked to the soundscape perceptions and preferences: (1) familiarity of the park and attendees’ age made people more tolerant towards sounds that others find annoying; (2) higher education and higher socio-economic status showed lower tolerance towards sounds; (3) having companions and specific types of recreational use increased the frequent perception of artificial sounds; (4) females generally showed higher sensitivity and lower tolerance than males towards several sounds; and (5) the longer attendees remained in the park, the more positive the overall soundscape preference was. The results indicate that numerous sounds are affecting people’s overall experience in the parks. These findings could help decision-makers and urban forest recreational park designers to formulate relevant strategies for park design that are in tune with varying public needs and expectations towards soundscape. The implementation of human-oriented soundscape design can therefore enhance people’s well-being. View Full-Text
Keywords: soundscape experience; personal differences; social demographical factors; human behavior; urban forest soundscape experience; personal differences; social demographical factors; human behavior; urban forest
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MDPI and ACS Style

Fang, X.; Gao, T.; Hedblom, M.; Xu, N.; Xiang, Y.; Hu, M.; Chen, Y.; Qiu, L. Soundscape Perceptions and Preferences for Different Groups of Users in Urban Recreational Forest Parks. Forests 2021, 12, 468. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12040468

AMA Style

Fang X, Gao T, Hedblom M, Xu N, Xiang Y, Hu M, Chen Y, Qiu L. Soundscape Perceptions and Preferences for Different Groups of Users in Urban Recreational Forest Parks. Forests. 2021; 12(4):468. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12040468

Chicago/Turabian Style

Fang, Xingyue, Tian Gao, Marcus Hedblom, Naisheng Xu, Yi Xiang, Mengyao Hu, Yuxuan Chen, and Ling Qiu. 2021. "Soundscape Perceptions and Preferences for Different Groups of Users in Urban Recreational Forest Parks" Forests 12, no. 4: 468. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12040468

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