Constructing ideal soundscapes: a practical study on closing the gaps between soundscape studies and urban design

Abstract : Calls are increasingly made for urban design measures that take non-vision sensory modalities into account, such as hearing, but agents capable of making such changes often lack the expertise to do so. The best progress in acoustics so far has been through intentional soundscape design, which considers sound during the urban design process rather than after. Indeed, design teams should understand how complicated factors play out in-situ, such as findings linking increased driving speeds with acoustically treated roads. Armed with this knowledge, they can take action to prevent further harm to urban landscapes. In practice, however, what can happen is that 1) papers in soundscape are written in language not interesting to urban designers; 2) research studies examine the current environment without proposing design updates; and 3) different investigators fail to agree on what constitutes wanted and unwanted noise. Each issue contributes to a built environment that reflects little of our sophisticated understanding. In response, this presentation will 1) demonstrate how soundscape research can fit into current urban design frameworks; 2) review key works in the literature to suggest some small and large acoustically-optimized urban design strategies; and 3) encourage collaboration channels connection soundscape research with urban design practice.
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Daniel Steele, Nik Luka, Catherine Guastavino. Constructing ideal soundscapes: a practical study on closing the gaps between soundscape studies and urban design. Acoustics 2012, Apr 2012, Nantes, France. ⟨hal-00811341⟩

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