Redefining the urban soundscape through better maps

Authors: Jacob Dein*, University of Tennessee
Topics: Urban and Regional Planning, Environmental Perception, Spatial Analysis & Modeling
Keywords: soundscape, biophony, urban ecology, Austria
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Sound is a natural property of ecosystems and urban spaces; however, human-made noise poses an increasing threat to both wildlife and humans. Mapping noise is an attenuation strategy enacted by the European Union’s Environmental Noise Directive that requires member states to develop noise maps for urban areas. Understanding the spatiotemporal dynamics of noise through the maps identifies when and where attenuation measures can have the greatest impact. Similarly, mapping desirable components of the acoustic environment (e.g., biological sounds such as birdsong) could also be effective for promoting urban design that leads to healthier spaces for humans and reduces noise impacts to surrounding ecosystems. However, data from stationary recording methods have so far only been able to map biological sound at large scales. Based on results from a study we conducted across an urban-rural gradient in Austria, we present a method for augmenting stationary recording data with additional spatial information. We believe this will help uncover deeper phenomena of biological sound in urban areas, enabling planners to design with better soundscapes in mind.

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