This paper is an exploration into whether public space users performing different activities describe their auditory environments in noticeably different ways. Building on soundscape and psycholinguistic literature, a questionnaire study was conducted in a large park in Amsterdam (NL), where 92 park users described, in writing, their activities and auditory environments. Users' self-reported activities were categorized based on their level of social interaction (solitary vs. socially interactive), and using open coding, generating categories of activities grouped by semantic range. The written corpus on auditory environment descriptions was analysed through a proposed classificatory framework, coding descriptions at three semantic and one syntactic level. We preliminarily tested whether there are associations between various categories of activities and of auditory environment descriptions, categorized at different levels. Our results suggest that, while for detailed levels of activity categorization there were no non-distinct patterns, the level of social interaction of users' activities has an observable effect over users' descriptions of their auditory environments. This holds particularly in relation to types of sounds listed, as well as for differences in descriptions at a syntactic level. These findings point towards subtly diff erent auditory experiences in the same public space for users performing solitary or socially interactive activities.
Bild, E., Pfeffer, K., Coler, M., & Bertolini, L. (2019). An Exploratory Study on the Influence of Activities on Public Space Users' Descriptions of Their Auditory Environments on Site: The Case of Amsterdam. Acta Acustica United with Acustica, 105(3), 449-463. https://doi.org/10.3813/AAA.919327