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Associations between personal attitudes towards covid-19 and public space soundscape assessment: An example from antwerp, Belgium

Aletta, F; Van Renterghem, T; (2021) Associations between personal attitudes towards covid-19 and public space soundscape assessment: An example from antwerp, Belgium. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health , 18 (22) , Article 11774. 10.3390/ijerph182211774. Green open access

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Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic, and the lockdown events and policies that followed, led to significant changes in the built environment and how it is experienced by people and communities. Among those, variations in the acoustic environments were some of the most noticeable in cities. This study investigated the relationships between the perception of the acoustic environment (i.e., sound-scape) and different personal factors such as attitudes towards the pandemic and noise sensitivity, by performing a survey with 109 participants in an urban green public space in Antwerp (Belgium), shortly after most restrictions issued by the government were lifted in September 2020 when the first contamination wave ended. While preliminary in nature, the results of this data collection campaign show that people actively changing their behaviors (using less public transport or cycling more) assessed the soundscapes as less vibrant/exciting. People who were more concerned about the pandemic tended to notice more natural sounds and noise from traffic on nearby local roads. This same subset also put a bigger importance on the environmental quality of the public space than in the pre-pandemic period. Noise sensitivity also played a role, as an association was found between more-than-average noise sensitive persons and those more worried regarding the pandemic. Overall, the findings of this study confirm that at least part of the people have started to perceive the public space, including its soundscape, differently since the start of the pandemic.

Type: Article
Title: Associations between personal attitudes towards covid-19 and public space soundscape assessment: An example from antwerp, Belgium
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph182211774
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182211774
Language: English
Additional information: © 2021 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 (https:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/ 4.0/).
Keywords: environmental noise; noise perception; soundscape; cycling; public space; survey; COVID-19
UCL classification: UCL
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/10138713
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