Correlation between sound sources and acoustic quality in urbanized areas

Architecture and Urban planning

The research object is the urban acoustic environment. The following research methods were used: soundwalk, field measurements of noise levels, narrative interview, and correlation-regression analysis. Soundscapes in various functional city areas have been investigated over three observation periods (morning, afternoon, and evening). A total of 9,450 responses were received from 10 respondents. The noise level in the urban area was measured according to the standard method. Perceived sound sources and their spatial-temporal variations were determined. Spatial-temporal variations of semantic characteristics of emotionally perceived acoustic environment quality were determined. Analysis of the results shows that traffic sounds have a marked inverse correlation with the emotional criterion "pleasantness" in the morning and evening (r = –0.59 and r = –0.55, respectively) and a high inverse correlation (r = –0.76) in the daytime. Traffic sounds have a noticeable inverse correlation with this criterion (r = –0.64). With the criterion "eventful," traffic sounds have a high direct correlation in the morning and afternoon (r = 0.75 and r = 0.72, respectively) and a moderate direct correlation in the evening (r = 0.41). Traffic sounds directly correlate with this criterion (r = 0.61). The human sounds (according to general assessment) do not correlate with the criterion "pleasantness" (r = 0.04); however, the alternating nature of the correlation coefficients (r = –0.50 in the morning and r = 0.34 in the evening) indicates a different emotional perception of colloquial speech at different times of the day. The "eventful" of human sounds is also characterized by a different emotional perception in time: for the morning hours, a high direct correlation is characteristic (r = 0.74); for the daytime hours – weak (r = 0.28); for the evening hours - moderate (r = 0.34). There is a weak positive correlation between the pleasantness and the water sounds, the eventuality, according to the general assessment, is also weakly expressed. Generally, bird sounds positively affect humans in terms of pleasantness (r = 0.38) but is perceived as a non-event effect (r = –0.63). This result is well aligned with the temporal trend of bird singing, particularly the sound dominance in the morning and afternoon hours.