Graduation Semester and Year

Spring 2024



Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture


Landscape Architecture

First Advisor

David Hopman

Second Advisor

Austin Allen

Third Advisor

Jordan Clark


The purpose of this research is to examine how visual stimuli affect an individual’s perception of the soundscape. Soundscapes are the acoustic environment perceived by people, whose character is determined by the action and interaction of natural and human factors (Maffei & Masullo, 2019), also understood as the overall sound environment perceived by people. By understanding user perception and preferences, designers can create more aesthetically pleasing spaces that align with the sounds of urban life. The research poses two questions: (1) What are aural and visual elements that impact urban soundscape experiences? and (2) How do aural and visual stimuli work together to affect the perception of the soundscape? A mixed-methods approach was applied to answer these questions, including a literature review, on-site user surveys, expert interviews, observational data, and sound-level readings. Five experts from landscape architecture, civil engineering, planning/urban design, and public realm strategies were interviewed. Survey participants were selected on-site at Klyde Warren Park to gather real-time perceptions and accurately capture their aural and visual intake. During survey dispersal, observation data and sound level measurements were collected at Klyde Warren Park. This resulted in a heat map showing the most noise-impacted zones, which relate to the visual and aural perception of people’s experiences. All collected data was classified into a matrix and further analyzed and synthesized, resulting in discussions about the findings and how they respond to the research questions. The study outcomes emphasize the importance of considering soundscapes as a crucial element of urban planning and design, which is frequently overlooked in favor of visual aspects. In response to question 1, the primary aural elements that impact the urban soundscape are noises from traffic, “people” sounds/activities, and water, while the leading visual elements are traffic, greenery, and water. In response to question 2, a positive correlation exists between auditory and visual stimuli in the urban environment. For example, if more traffic is visible, the soundscape tends to be perceived as less pleasant, whereas the presence of water or vegetation contributes to a more enjoyable soundscape. These findings offer valuable insights to designers and urban planners, enabling them to create more aesthetically pleasing and functionally sound spaces that harmonize with the sounds of urban life.


Landscape, Design, Perception, Parks, Soundscapes, Urban


Landscape Architecture


Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



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