About Soundscape of European Cities and Landscapes
Reducing sound level, the focus of EU environmental noise policy, does not necessarily lead to improved quality of life in urban/rural areas, and a new multidisciplinary approach is essential. Soundscape research represents this paradigm shift as it involves not only physical measurements but also the cooperation of human/social sciences (e.g. psychology, sociology, architecture, anthropology, medicine), to account for the diversity of soundscapes across countries and cultures; and it considers environmental sounds as a 'resource' rather than a 'waste'. Although there is significant research activity at the national level and this new paradigm is touched upon in work packages scattered across European Framework projects, there is no systematic international coordination and multidisciplinary cooperation. Aiming at providing the underpinning science and practical guidance in soundscape, this Action will create a vibrant/productive international network of initially 25 participants from 18 COST countries and 7 partners outside Europe; and the Action will deliver an integrated database of laboratory/field studies, harmonised/standardised soundscape assessment and indicators, academic and practical publications, and tools to support designers and decision makers in planning and reshaping urban/rural spaces. The Action promotes health and sustainability, attracts investment, conveys cultural uniqueness/diversity and enhances quality of life.