Determination of the soundscape cost index through soundscape data collection and the use of psychoacoustic metrics

  • Bestimmung des Soundscape-Kostenindex durch Soundscape-Datenerhebung und die Verwendung von psychoakustischen Metriken

Engel, Margret Sibylle; Pfaffenbach, Carmella Diana (Thesis advisor); Fels, Janina (Thesis advisor); Schneider, Christoph (Thesis advisor)

Aachen : RWTH Aachen University (2021, 2022)
Dissertation / PhD Thesis

Dissertation, Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen, 2021


Soundscape studies are showing the importance and the benefits regarding the sonic the environment in our daily lives. The soundscape paradigm shift, not just negative aspects, common on environmental noise studies, is highlighted, but also how the sonic environment can be recovering to the welfare of communities. Thinking on the valuation of settings, past studies focused mainly on how much the environmental noise cost society. This kind of valuation followed several methods like hedonic pricing, contingent valuation, and benefits transfer methods based just on economic factors involving socio-economic aspects. This study aims to show a new approach which fits better with the soundscape paradigm shift established by the ISO 12913. The study highlights the valuation of positive and negative aspects of the evaluated soundscape, together with the interaction of socio-economic and socio-cultural, psychoacoustic, landscape, thermal-comfort, and air quality aspects, which are other stimuli that can influence our general environmental perception. Context also has great importance. Through the diversification of data collection (soundwalks and interviews) with different target public, it was possible to ensure the coverage and understanding of this aspect on soundscape studies and the development of the proposed Soundscape Cost Index. The index shown in this work can explain 58% of the combination of the above-mentioned aspects related to public spaces users' soundscape expectations, helping to redirect public authorities' efforts to provide healthy and comfortable public areas and ensure a reliable and better life quality.


  • Chair for Hearing Technology and Acoustics [613610]
  • Division of Earth Sciences and Geography [530000]
  • Cultural Geography Teaching and Research Area [551820]