Towards standardization in soundscape preference assessment
The study of soundscapes involves diverse fields of practice, diverse approaches and diverse disciplinary interests. The field overlaps with the much larger and established field of environmental noise management, and also intersects, to various degrees, with other areas of acoustics such as sound quality, human acoustic comfort in buildings, and music-and also with non-acoustic fields such as wilderness and recreation management, urban and housing design, and landscape planning and management. Working Group 54 of ISO/TC 43/SC 1 has been formed with a remit of standardization for perceptual assessment of human sound preference (in outdoor space) using questionnaires. The working group began its work in 2009, with considerable and wide-ranging discussion amongst its members. This paper makes a range of observations, and sometimes suggestions, on matters pertinent to eventual definition of the soundscape; on outcomes of interest arising from experience of a soundscape; on the role of context in assessment; on sound sources in different places; and on relevant lessons for soundscape assessment from experience of questionnaire measurement of noise annoyance. It represents a personal view, though informed by a range of opinions from the Working Group meeting and from literature.
Built Environment and Design not elsewhere classified