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BY-NC-ND 3.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Open Access August 12, 2016

When soundscape meets architecture

  • Brigitte Schulte-Fortkamp and Pamela Jordan
From the journal Noise Mapping


The harmonization of noise indicators, noise mapping, and action plans delivers basic administrative information not only for noise abatement in highly noisepolluted areas, but also for comparisons across built environments regionally and internationally. However, such activities do not provide any tools or essential knowledge for the more demanding tasks required in designing and planning sustainable built environments that are supportive to wellbeing and health. Without knowing the determining factors behind dose-response curves [1, 2], the decision process for developing action plans is unnecessarily restricted. Optional courses of action for handling a noise problem cannot be sufficiently considered without understanding the full context—physical, cultural, emotional— of noise’s effect on people. Therefore, an approach for considering these many angles must involve diverse fields of practice and interdisciplinary approaches. One such methodology is the multidimensional Soundscape Approach, which emphasizes how the acoustic environment is perceived, experienced, and/or understood by a person or people in context. Relying on principles of the Soundscape Approach, two urban green spaces will be examined regarding noise abatement strategies in relation to visitors’ experiential expectations. It will be shown how and why soundscape is an invaluable tool in detecting and analyzing needs for an adequate acoustic environment, accounting for people’s concerns and integrating their local expertise to guide the process of planning, designing and maintaining sites.


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Received: 2016-5-2
Accepted: 2016-7-25
Published Online: 2016-8-12

©2016 B. Schulte-Fortkamp and P. Jordan

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License.

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