Soundscape and the Built Environment: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Soundscape and the Built Environment

1st Edition

Edited by Jian Kang, Brigitte Schulte-Fortkamp

CRC Press

310 pages | 124 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9781138893085
pub: 2017-07-26
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pub: 2015-12-15
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Soundscape Basics and Practical Implications

Soundscape research represents a paradigm shift, as it involves human and social sciences and physical measurements to account for the diversity of soundscapes across countries and cultures. Moreover, it treats environmental sounds as a resource rather than a waste.

Soundscape and the Built Environment is the first book to systematically discuss soundscape in the built environment. It begins with a presentation of theory and basic background, answering questions such as: what is soundscape, how is it important, and how does it affect people in terms of their health and perception on the acoustic environment. The book then sets out tools for implementing a soundscape approach, with measurement techniques, mapping, and good soundscape practices. It also delivers a series of examples of the application of the soundscape approach in planning, design, and assessment.

  • Discusses soundscape and environmental noise
  • Explores cultural variations and the way they influence soundscape
  • Introduces binaural measurement technology and psychoacoustics
  • Examines the physical, psychological, and physiological restorative mechanism of high-quality acoustic environments
  • Presents soundscape mapping based on human perception of sound sources
  • Includes real-world examples and case studies highlighting the key issues in soundscape intervention

Soundscape and the Built Environment is written by a group of leading international figures and derives from a four-year EU COST project on Soundscapes of European Cities and Landscapes. It presents a consensus on the current state of the art and is not merely a collection of different views. It is written for acoustic consultants, urban planners, designers and policy makers, as well as for graduate students and researchers.


"This publication is set to become the long awaited benchmark in soundscape research and will undoubtedly be used by acoustic practitioners, students, policy makers, academics and urban designers for many years to come and is therefore highly recommended."

—Robert J. Pheasant, Applied Acoustics, July 2016

"An excellent book highly recommended for professionals, consultants, researchers, students and administrators in variety of fields such as acoustics, architecture, landscape design, building science and technology, urban planning, transportation engineering and environmental science."

Noise Control Engineering Journal

"Written and compiled by the leading experts in the field of soundscapes and therefore a complete and up-to-date view of the subject."

—Dr Raf Orlowski, Ramboll Acoustics, UK

"… a comprehensive view of the emerging science and practice of soundscape analysis, and its practical applications. … This book leads the way to the future of the analysis and design of our sonic environment."

—Bennett Brooks, Brooks Acoustics Corporation, USA

"… this book provides novel holistic insights … It is highly recommended to any acoustical engineers, urban planners, community groups or others who care about soundscape design…"

—Jin Yong Jeon, Hanyang University, Seoul, South Korea

"The book will be a welcome contribution to the literature on an emerging topic of international importance."

—Gary W. Siebein, University of Florida, Gainesville, USA

"This book is a must-have; a high-quality and complete review reference text on soundscape approached from the most important research fields and scientific disciplines."

—Kristian Jambrosic, Nuntius August 2016

"This excellent book is highly recommended for professionals, consultants, researchers, students, and administrators in a variety of fields, such as acoustics, architecture, landscape design, building science and technology, urban planning, transportation engineering, and environmental science."

--M. G. Prasad, Stevens Institute of Technology, USA

Table of Contents


Taxonomy and Nomenclature

Assessment of soundscapes, basic definitions, an attempt to standardize

Soundscape nomenclature in various languages and disciplines

International standards relevant for soundscape studies

From Sonic Environment to Soundscape


Auditory Scene Analysis

The role of multisensory attention

How sounds get meaning

Appraisal and quality judgment in a socio-cultural context

A holistic model for soundscape

How soundscape theory can affect practice

Human Restoration and Quality Of Life: The Role of High Acoustic Quality


The review: Method



Impact of Soundscape in Terms of Perception

The holistic in soundscape

Methods to balance the acoustics in the living environment

Participation as the leading construct

Outline of studies for urban areas: overview and outcomes

Discussion regarding a guideline for future noise studies

Indicators to be obtained for political input

Perceived Soundscapes in Relation to Transport Related Annoyance, Context and Personal Characteristics; Case Studies

The need for the integration of different scale levels in soundscape health and quality of life studies

Large scale health and quality of life studies (Schiphol & National neighbourhood study)

Medium to smaller scales health and quality of life studies (BBT & ALPNAP)

Future perspective

Human Hearing-Related Measurement And Analysis Of Acoustic Environments – Requisite For Soundscape Investigations

Measurement Equipment

Measurement Conditions and Specifications

Analysis of Acoustic Environments by means of Psychoacoustics

Characterization of Soundscapes

Mapping of Soundscape

Noise mapping

Sound mapping

Soundscape mapping based on ANN

Mind mapping to psychoacoustic alternatives

Soundscape topography

Procedures and techniques for identification of sound components

Approaches to Urban Soundscape Management, Planning, and Design


Outdoors soundscape concept

Soundscape approach vs noise control approach

Soundscape management in new urban projects

Soundscape planning and design


Soundscape As Part of the Cultural and Natural Heritage


Multi-sensorial appreciation of cultural and natural heritage

Soundscape as intangible trademark: recognition’s techniques

Tools for the Soundscape safeguard


Historical towns

Archaeological parks

Natural parks


Applied Soundscape Practices

Purpose-designed soundscape projects

Other projects achieving good soundscape quality

Examples of soundscape practice in policy

Potential policy applications of soundscape principles

Methods of soundscape modification

Priorities for soundscape intervention

Improving future soundscape practices


About the Editors

Jian Kang obtained his first degree and MSc from Tsinghua University in Beijing, and his Ph.D from the University of Cambridge. He has been a professor of acoustics at the School of Architecture, University of Sheffield, since 2003. Before joining Sheffield, he worked as a senior research associate at the Martin Centre, University of Cambridge, and as an A. v. Humboldt Fellow at the Fraunhofer Institute of Building Physics in Germany. His main research area is architectural and environmental acoustics. He has published three books, more than 200 refereed journal papers and book chapters, and more than 300 conference papers. He served as chair of the European Committee COST Action TD 082011-201204 "Soundscape of European Cities and Landscapes."

Brigitte Schulte-Fortkamp is a professor of psychoacoustics and noise effects at the Institute of Fluid Mechanics and Engineering Acoustics, Technische Universität Berlin, Germany. She has been a research professor at MIT Boston, Osaka University, and Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris. She is a fellow of the Acoustical Society of America and an associate editor of the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. Her research activities include psychoacoustics, acoustic ecology, and soundscapes. She served as co-chair of the European Committee COST Action TD 082011-201204 "Soundscape of European Cities and Landscapes." She is not only a member of ISO/TC 43/SC 1/WG 54 -12913-1 "Perceptual Assessment of Soundscape Quality" but also project leader for the NWIP 12913-2 Acoustics-Soundscape-Part 2: Methods and Measurements in Soundscape Studies. She is a distinguished international member of INCE USA. From 2011 to 2012, among others Professor Schulte-Fortkamp served as vice president of the Acoustical Society of America. In 2012, she received the European Soundscape Award.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Environmental Science