Special Issue "Soundscape in Architecture and Urban Planning"

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Acoustics and Vibrations".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 November 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Bert De Coensel
Website
Guest Editor
WAVES Research Group, Department of Information Technology, Ghent University, Technologiepark-Zwijnaarde 126, B-9052 Ghent, Belgium
Interests: acoustics; environmental sound; soundscape; acoustic design; auditory perception; machine audition

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sound is an important aspect of the quality of the urban outdoor environment. Within the field of environmental acoustics, urban soundscape research represents a relatively recent but important paradigm shift, which departs from the point of view that a fitting acoustic environment may have a positive effect on the well-being of inhabitants and visitors. With the advent of new methods and techniques for realistic auralization of outdoor spaces, and with the use of virtual/augmented reality devices becoming more and more widespread, research interest in the challenge of shaping the acoustic environment of urban public spaces has risen considerably.

This Special Issue aims to collect original research papers on the use of the soundscape approach in architecture and urban planning. Both theoretical and application/engineering studies on the acoustic design of urban outdoor space are welcome, and an interdisciplinary approach is encouraged. Topics will cover all aspects of the use of sound in architecture and urban planning, including studies on auralization, urban noise control, urban sound quality, the use of novel acoustic materials in architecture, or the use of virtual or augmented reality in soundscape, environmental acoustics, noise control, and urban acoustic design.

Prof. Bert De Coensel
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Applied Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Soundscape
  • Architecture
  • Urban planning
  • Environmental acoustics
  • Noise control
  • Urban acoustic design
  • Sound quality
  • Acoustic materials
  • Auralization
  • Virtual/augmented reality

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
Using Virtual Soundwalk Approach for Assessing Sound Art Soundscape Interventions in Public Spaces
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(6), 2102; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10062102 - 20 Mar 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
This paper discusses the soundscape assessment approaches to soundscape interventions with musical features introduced to public spaces as permanent sound art, with a focus on the ISO 12913 series, Method A for data collection applied in a laboratory study. Three soundscape interventions in [...] Read more.
This paper discusses the soundscape assessment approaches to soundscape interventions with musical features introduced to public spaces as permanent sound art, with a focus on the ISO 12913 series, Method A for data collection applied in a laboratory study. Three soundscape interventions in three cities are investigated. The virtual soundwalk is used to combine the benefits of the on-site and laboratory settings. Two measurement points per location were recorded—one at a position where the intervention was clearly perceptible, the other further away to serve as a baseline condition. The participants (N = 44) were exposed to acoustic environments (N = 6) recorded using the first-order Ambisonics microphone on-site and then reproduced via the second-order Ambisonics system in laboratory. A series of rank-based Kruskal–Wallis tests were performed on the results of the subjective responses. Results revealed a statistically significant positive effect on soundscape at two locations, and limitations related to sound source identification due to cultural factors and geometrical configuration of the public space at one location. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soundscape in Architecture and Urban Planning)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
The Soundscape Hackathon as a Methodology to Accelerate Co-Creation of the Urban Public Space
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(6), 1932; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10061932 - 12 Mar 2020
Abstract
The design of urban public spaces is typically performed by architects and urban planners, which often only focus on the visual aesthetics of the urban space. Yet, a visually pleasing public open space designed for relaxing will be underused if it sounds unpleasant. [...] Read more.
The design of urban public spaces is typically performed by architects and urban planners, which often only focus on the visual aesthetics of the urban space. Yet, a visually pleasing public open space designed for relaxing will be underused if it sounds unpleasant. Ideally, sonic design should be integrated with visual design, a need the soundscape approach answers. The current trend of co-creating the urban space together with all stakeholders, including local residents, opens up new opportunities to account for all senses in the urban design process. Unfortunately, architects and urban planners struggle to incorporate the soundscape approach in the urban design process and to use it in the context of co-creation. In this work, a hackathon is proposed to generate creative concepts, methods and tools to co-create the urban public space. A soundscape hackathon was organized in the spring of 2019. Participants were challenged to apply their own immersive approaches or virtual and/or augmented reality solutions on selected urban soundscapes. They presented their results to colleagues in the field and to a professional jury. This paper describes the process and results of the event and shows that a hackathon is a viable approach to accelerate the co-creation of the urban public space. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soundscape in Architecture and Urban Planning)
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Open AccessArticle
Cross-National Comparison of Soundscape in Urban Public Open Spaces between China and Croatia
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(3), 960; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10030960 - 02 Feb 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
There are similarities and differences between open public space soundscape evaluation in different countries, mainly due to the influence of cultural background. This paper systematically compares the effect of social-cultural context on soundscape of urban public open spaces in China and Croatia. Eleven [...] Read more.
There are similarities and differences between open public space soundscape evaluation in different countries, mainly due to the influence of cultural background. This paper systematically compares the effect of social-cultural context on soundscape of urban public open spaces in China and Croatia. Eleven well-known and typical squares were selected. A series of questionnaire surveys within the soundscape framework were carried out during the summer season, and gathered data were analyzed. Principal component analysis (PCA) resulted in two principal components, eventfulness and pleasantness, as notable soundscape factors. However, eventfulness is the major factor in China, and pleasantness is the major factor in Croatia. In terms of environmental satisfaction, natural condition is the major factor based on PCA. Urban condition is the second factor in China, however, it is the third factor in Croatia. It is interesting to note that the physical environment is the most important factor in Croatian inland and coastal places, which is different compared to Chinese places. Visit purpose is the dominant factor associated with sound and environmental satisfaction. Natural sound and children have mainly positive correlations to sound and environmental satisfaction in China, whereas sounds of human activities have mainly negative correlations to sound and environmental satisfaction in Croatia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soundscape in Architecture and Urban Planning)
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Open AccessArticle
Subjective Preferences for Birdsong and Insect Song in Equal Sound Pressure Level
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(3), 849; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10030849 - 25 Jan 2020
Abstract
Birdsong is used as a sound signal for visually impaired people in train stations in Japan. However, such sound signals were reportedly difficult to be localized by over 40% of visually impaired people. More than 40% of visually impaired people reported that such [...] Read more.
Birdsong is used as a sound signal for visually impaired people in train stations in Japan. However, such sound signals were reportedly difficult to be localized by over 40% of visually impaired people. More than 40% of visually impaired people reported that such sound signals were difficult to identify. The sound pressure level of birdsong is typically low because higher levels of birdsong can cause annoyance to users or residents. Therefore, preferences for birdsong should be investigated. Importantly, birdsong and insect song have been shown to have a positive effect on soundscapes. However, preferences for different types of birdsong and insect song have not been investigated. The current study sought to clarify which types of birdsong and insect song are preferred, and to determine the dominant physical parameters that relate to the preference. We evaluated subjective preferences for various types of birdsong and insect song using paired comparison tests. The relationships between subjective preference and physical parameters were examined. The results indicated that Horornis diphone and Teleogryllus emma were the most preferred types of birdsong and insect song, both of which are common in Japan. The maximum peak amplitude of the autocorrelation function, determinants of which are pitch salience, loudness, and spectral content, such as centroid, flux, and rolloff, are significant parameters influencing subjective preference. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soundscape in Architecture and Urban Planning)
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Open AccessProtocol
The Soundscape Indices (SSID) Protocol: A Method for Urban Soundscape Surveys—Questionnaires with Acoustical and Contextual Information
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(7), 2397; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10072397 - 01 Apr 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
A protocol for characterizing urban soundscapes for use in the design of Soundscape Indices (SSID) and general urban research as implemented under the European Research Council (ERC)-funded SSID project is described in detail. The protocol consists of two stages: (1) a Recording Stage [...] Read more.
A protocol for characterizing urban soundscapes for use in the design of Soundscape Indices (SSID) and general urban research as implemented under the European Research Council (ERC)-funded SSID project is described in detail. The protocol consists of two stages: (1) a Recording Stage to collect audio-visual recordings for further analysis and for use in laboratory experiments, and (2) a Questionnaire Stage to collect in situ soundscape assessments via a questionnaire method paired with acoustic data collection. Key adjustments and improvements to previous methodologies for soundscape characterization have been made to enable the collation of data gathered from research groups around the world. The data collected under this protocol will form a large-scale, international soundscape database. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soundscape in Architecture and Urban Planning)
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