The Sonic Environment of Cities

Type
Journal
Authors
Southworth ( Michael Southworth )
 
Category
Article  [ Browse Items ]
Publication Year
1969 
Publisher
Environment and Behavior, United States 
URL
[ private ] 
Tags
 
Abstract
Reports 2 field studies of the sonic environment of Boston, Massachusetts. One study, using 5 blindfolded Ss, investigated soundscape changes over time and under varied weather conditions. Another study, on Seeing * Hearing interactions and acoustic preferences, used 5 groups, each containing 1 S with vision only, 1 S with audition only, and 1 S with vision plus audition. Ss were "reasonably articulate" and "familiar with environmental design." The trip covered diverse sonic and visual settings. Detailed discussion of between-group and between-setting differences is presented. Overall, most sonic setting were uninformative and unrecognizable, and varied over time and weather. Memorable sound settings communicated spatial and activity character. Traffic and people were the most frequently mentioned sounds. Pleasingness of sound related to its physical qualities, novelty, informativeness, and responsiveness to personal action. Setting which had sound supportive of sight were few but "dominant." Furthermore sonic and visual settings, when coupled, decreased "conscious perception" of these factors. An added sonic element increased the intensity of the city experience. Sonic design is discussed. It is suggested that a visual cityscape will not be experienced as intended unless the nonvisual environments are "designed to correlation." 
Description
https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1972-22778-001

First use of the term, 'soundscape'. 
Biblio Notes
 
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