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Research article2024Peer reviewed

Do soundscape perceptions vary over length of stay within urban parks?

Fang, Xingyue; Qi, Ying; Hedblom, Marcus; Gao, Tian; Qiu, Ling


Outdoor recreational experiences of soundscapes in urban parks are not instantaneous but continuous over time, yet most existing studies evaluate soundscapes in one place or one environment at a single moment in time. In this study, outdoor users' perceptions of soundscapes during a visit in varying environments within urban parks in Xi'an, China were explored. The results from N = 2034 respondents showed that (1) the level of overall perceived loudness peaked between 30 min and 1 h of a visit and then the perception of loudness lessened with increased length of stay. (2) Perceived occurrences of both natural and mechanical sounds showed a significant increment within 1 h, however, the natural sounds remained relatively stable after the hour, while the mechanical sounds rose significantly to a peak between 1 and 3 h (3) Visual sources of birds were not detected until after 3 h of the visit, while visual sources of broadcast music were tended to be detected within 1 h (4) Overall perceived loudness only varied over time in blue, open green and dense green space; perceived occurrences of birds only varied over time in grey and partly open/dense green space; perceived occurrences of broadcast music only varied over time in grey space, partly open/dense green and dense green space; perceived occurrences of bicycle riding only varied over time in open green and dense green space. The implications of these findings include the management of urban parks to improve the recreational experience of visitors, and considerations for future research on the soundscape in urban parks.


Soundscape experiences; Perceptual duration; Grey space; Blue space; Green space; Outdoor recreation management

Published in

Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism
2024, Volume: 45, article number: 100728

    Associated SLU-program

    Nature experiences and health

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Landscape Architecture

    Publication identifier


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