Rudimentary Educational Survey on Acoustic Landscape of Lakefront Scenic Areas: A Case Study of Hangzhou City, China

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SHI Jian Ren
ZHAO Xiu Min


Urban open spaces are important for improvement in urban living quality. Traditional research on
open spaces mainly focuses on spatial forms and visual esthetics to analyze environmental quality,
but lacks adequate consideration regarding acoustic elements. In the field of the acoustic environment,
people pay much attention to interior sound quality design and noise pollution. In order to provide a new
viewpoint for urban design and to reinforce design methods, herein, the concept of soundscape was
introduced. In this survey, the types and the features of lakefront soundscapes, as well as visitors’ spatial
distribution were observed. Thirteen pairs of sound and image scenarios were presented to 112 subjects at
a tourism city, Hangzhou, China. The sounds and images used were of real settings in lakefront scenic
areas. Affective response was measured in terms of pleasure. Through the evaluation on the influence of
the interaction between visual and acoustic stimuli on perception of the environment, it is proved that
there is a need to identify places where the conservation of the sound environment is essential, due to the
drastic impact of the loss of sound quality or its salient informational content on human appreciation,
especially in theme spaces, and folk-custom landscapes. Moreover, the coherence between sound and
image influences human preferences, since coherent combinations are rated higher than the mean of the
component stimuli. As a result, the spatial partition of soundscape is also necessary with the movement of
the visual images. Finally, some design guidelines regarding soundscape are proposed with the illustrations
of four typical lakefront spots.


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