Evaluation of Soundscape Variations through the Open Public Spaces in Saharan Cities: A Case of Biskra, Algeria





Binaural recording, Soundscapes, Questionnaire, soundscape perception, public space, noise measurement


This study aims initially to evaluate the quality of different soundscapes in the public space of the city of Biskra, in Algeria. A total of 35 participants took part in a laboratory experiment, where 28 sound clips of one-minute duration taken from public spaces in the city were used as stimuli. The A-weighted equivalent continuous sound pressure level (LAeq,1min) was calculated. The participants rated the quality of the soundscape using attribute scales provided in their own native language. The results of the questionnaire on the recorded soundtracks confirm that the immediate environment affects the ambient sound level and the quality of the sound environment, where the sound environments of the areas located near the roads, with a high mechanical flow, are considered the most unpleasant and noisy, with a high A-weighted equivalent continuous sound pressure level (LAeq,1min). The findings of this study indicate that there are statistically significant correlations between pleasantness and loudness, presence of mechanical sounds, presence of non-mechanical sounds, and a sound exposure level. In addition, this study shows that there is a significant positive correlation between pleasantness and the presence of non-mechanical sounds. The results also showed an inverse relationship between the presence of mechanical and non-mechanical sounds, and that the absence of mechanical sounds allows natural and human sounds to be more audible, making the soundscape more pleasant and calm according to the results of the questionnaire. From this study, the duality LAeq,1min and the components of the soundscape are very representative indicators of the quality of the soundscape.