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Sustainable soundscapes: noise policy and the urban experience

Adams, MD, Cox, TJ, Moore, G, Croxford, B and Refaee, M 2006, 'Sustainable soundscapes: noise policy and the urban experience' , Urban Studies, 43 (13) , pp. 2385-2398.

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This paper introduces regulatory components influencing city soundscapes in Europe and the UK, illustrating the abatement approach taken within noise policy, demonstrating the importance of individual experience in assessing the soundscapes of urban environments and identifying a terminology to facilitate an introduction of soundscapes into the planning process. Drawing on work from soundscape ecology, a way is demonstrated to coalesce these divergent positions. Reviewing interviews undertaken in Clerkenwell, the paper demonstrates that it is not simply noise levels that are important to people in an urban area. Context, source, distance, temporariness and control over noise, are all relevant to whether people would want to see a particular sound eliminated from their soundscape. Using Schafer's terminology 'keynote sounds', 'soundmarks' and 'sound signals', a rationale is proposed through which experienced soundscapes may be articulated, challenging the strategy of noise abatement which could produce a conformity of soundscape that homogenises place and dissolves local uniqueness. This paper arises from research undertaken as part of the EPSRC project ‘Vivacity 2020: urban sustainability for the 24 hour city’ GR/S18380/01(P).

Item Type: Article
Themes: Subjects / Themes > H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Subjects / Themes > H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Science & Technology > School of the Built Environment
Colleges and Schools > College of Science & Technology > School of Computing, Science and Engineering > Acoustics Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: Urban Studies
Publisher: Routledge Taylor Francis
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1360063X
Depositing User: H Kenna
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2007 12:41
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2013 15:48

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