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An aesthetic approach to the soundscape of urban public open spaces.

Yang, Wei (2005) An aesthetic approach to the soundscape of urban public open spaces. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

The main aim of this thesis is to establish a systematic framework for the soundscape design considerations of urban public open spaces. With an aesthetic approach, the thesis focuses on the essential characteristics of sound in the context of urban public open space, as well as its interaction with people - users of public open space, and spaces - containers of soundscape. Through reviewing urban aesthetic theory, previous soundscape studies, relevant environmental psychology theories, typological urban design, and computer simulation in acoustics, a systematic methodology is set up for soundscape study in urban public open spaces. The core of this thesis is in two parts. Part I, `Soundscape by listening - field survey', focuses on perception and evaluation of soundscape. Based on the field survey data, which includes 9,200 questionnaire interviews, measurements, and observations of 14 case study sites across Europe, it is proved that soundscape is an important aspect affecting people's evaluation and behaviours in urban public open spaces. Acoustic comfort/pleasant evaluation are more complicated than merely sound level evaluation. A lower background sound level can lead to a systematic sound level evaluation improvement, whereas the involvement of favourable sound elements and the feeling of dominance can dramatically improve the acoustic comfort evaluation. Personal differences, especially in cultural background and age, have significant influences in soundscape evaluation. Part II of the thesis, 'Soundscape by design', focuses on the designable part of soundscape, spatial forms and sound elements. Through the typological soundscape study, the soundscape characteristics of different shaped, sized and opening conditioned urban spaces are identified, from which many typologically classifiable forms can be created. Analyses and suggestions are made for sound element design, including the creation of active soundmarks and the design of passive soundmarks. The former relies upon on suitable spatial forms and physical factors. The latter depends on specifically designed landscape elements, such as fountains. As an example, fountains' spectrum and form are described and analysed in depth. It is expected that this thesis will be of practical value and will help to inform the design process.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Architecture (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.444101
Depositing User: EThOS Import Sheffield
Date Deposited: 31 May 2016 15:28
Last Modified: 31 May 2016 15:28
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/12850

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