Acoustic quality and health in urban environments - First methodological experiences of the pilot study SALVE
* Presenting author
In cities, sound can characterize urban environments (soundscapes) just as land-use types and patterns, which can impact well-being and health of the population. To identify which criteria are important for health-promoting soundscapes, a two year interdisciplinary MERCUR Research Center funded pilot study “acouStic quAlity and heaLth in urban enVironmEnts (SALVE) - analysis of the interrelationships between soundscapes and health” was launched in October 2018. SALVE aims to establish one of the largest multi-seasonal urban soundscape datasets in Germany by making year-long direct and automated auditory measurements. The calculation of a wide array of metrics (WAM) over a large heterogeneous urban area will enable analysis of associations to health outcomes from the long-term, population-based Heinz Nixdorf Recall study. SALVE is a starting point for an innovative approach to understanding the effects of sound quality on urban public health – beyond noise mitigation. Here we will present methodological aspects of study design, like the operation of direct and automated measurement devices in urban environments and spatial epidemiological analyses. Furthermore, we will give first results, as well as insights into practical experiences of acceptance, data protection and into opportunities as well as pitfalls which arise during a large soundscape data collection and analysis project.