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An Experimental Study on the Influence of Soundscapes on People's Behaviour in an Open Public Space

Aletta, F; Lepore, F; Kostara-Konstantinou, E; Kang, J; Astolfi, A; (2016) An Experimental Study on the Influence of Soundscapes on People's Behaviour in an Open Public Space. Applied Sciences , 6 (10) , Article 276. 10.3390/app6100276. Green open access

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Abstract

Several studies have investigated how environmental sounds and music can modulate people’s behaviours, particularly in marketing research. However, there are relatively few examples of research about such relationships with a focus on the management of urban public spaces. The current study investigated an open public space used mainly as a pedestrian crossing to analyse the relationship between the audio stimuli and peoples’ behaviours. An experiment relying on covert behavioural observation was performed. During the experiment, three different music stimuli and a control condition (i.e., no music) were reproduced in order to find out firstly whether music compared to no music could elicit an increase in the number of people stopping in the investigated area, and secondly whether music is associated with a longer duration of stay for those who stop. Results showed that the presence of music had no effect on the number of people stopping in the area, but it had a statistically significant effect on the duration of stay for those who stopped. The above findings support the idea that people felt more invited to stay in the area with music rather than with no music, and suggest that the acoustical manipulation of the existing sound environment could provide soundscape strategies capable of promoting social cohesion in public spaces.

Type: Article
Title: An Experimental Study on the Influence of Soundscapes on People's Behaviour in an Open Public Space
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3390/app6100276
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3390/app6100276
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: soundscape; music stimuli; environmental noise; people’s behaviour
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10043927
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