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Appl. Sci. 2016, 6(10), 276;

An Experimental Study on the Influence of Soundscapes on People’s Behaviour in an Open Public Space

School of Architecture, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S102TN, UK
Department of Energy, Politecnico di Torino, Torino 10129, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Gino Iannace
Received: 25 July 2016 / Revised: 16 September 2016 / Accepted: 20 September 2016 / Published: 27 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Noise and Vibration Control in the Built Environment)
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Several studies have investigated how environmental sounds and music can modulate people’s behaviours, particularly in marketing research. However, there are relatively few examples of research about such relationships with a focus on the management of urban public spaces. The current study investigated an open public space used mainly as a pedestrian crossing to analyse the relationship between the audio stimuli and peoples’ behaviours. An experiment relying on covert behavioural observation was performed. During the experiment, three different music stimuli and a control condition (i.e., no music) were reproduced in order to find out firstly whether music compared to no music could elicit an increase in the number of people stopping in the investigated area, and secondly whether music is associated with a longer duration of stay for those who stop. Results showed that the presence of music had no effect on the number of people stopping in the area, but it had a statistically significant effect on the duration of stay for those who stopped. The above findings support the idea that people felt more invited to stay in the area with music rather than with no music, and suggest that the acoustical manipulation of the existing sound environment could provide soundscape strategies capable of promoting social cohesion in public spaces. View Full-Text
Keywords: soundscape; music stimuli; environmental noise; people’s behaviour soundscape; music stimuli; environmental noise; people’s behaviour

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Aletta, F.; Lepore, F.; Kostara-Konstantinou, E.; Kang, J.; Astolfi, A. An Experimental Study on the Influence of Soundscapes on People’s Behaviour in an Open Public Space. Appl. Sci. 2016, 6, 276.

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