Urban Soundscape Assessment by Visually Impaired People: First Methodological Approach in Granada (Spain)
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Environmental noiseSoundscapePerceptionVisually impairedUrban design
Vida, J... [et al.]. Urban Soundscape Assessment by Visually Impaired People: First Methodological Approach in Granada (Spain). Sustainability 2021, 13, 13867. [https://doi.org/10.3390/su132413867]
SponsorshipEuropean Research Council (ERC) European Commission 740696
Soundscape assessments by citizens are starting to emerge as a common practice, normally carried out in context by means of soundwalks along selected paths with volunteers. However, when such assessments are carried out, either in situ or in laboratory experiments, visually impaired citizens are not usually involved. To address this question, three soundwalks were carried out in 2020 in the city of Granada, in southern Spain, with the participation of visually impaired people. In this paper, we present the lessons learnt from this research with respect to the methodology issues that have to do with soundwalking and the surveying procedures when people with limited vison are participating, the assessment results, and a comparison with a soundscape evaluation carried out in 2019 without the collaboration of visually impaired people. The results of this preliminary campaign highlight that: (1) Adapting soundscape assessment protocols from standards for visually impaired people is a methodological challenge that requires research attention; (2) Some of the different patterns in the assessment of the soundscape pleasantness between visually impaired and nonvisually impaired participants emerged; (3) The perception of quietness may differ for visually impaired people when orientation and identification are factors that play a role in the acoustic environment evaluation.