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The acoustic quality and health in urban environments (SALVE) project: Study design, rationale and methodology

By Timo Haselhoff, Bryce Lawrence, Jonas Hornberg, Salman Ahmed, Robynne Sutcliffe, Dietwald Gruehn, Susanne Moebus

Posted 24 Feb 2021
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.02.23.21252275

Sound pressure levels expressed in variations of decibel (dB) formulations are a common approach to describe the urban acoustic environment (AE). In recent years, different approaches gained traction to describe the urban AE, like the soundscape ecology approach, which focuses on the natural environment. To determine the feasibility of applying this approach to cities, a comprehensive dataset of high-quality sound recordings with high spatial and temporal resolution is essential. The acoustic quality and health in urban environments (SALVE) project aims to establish a spatially and temporally high-resolution dataset of the urban AE using land use categories. Since 2019, we assess the AE at selected places in the densely populated city of Bochum, Germany. For a high temporal resolution, we used automatic devices at 52 locations that recorded every 26 minutes for three minutes. For a high spatial resolution, we used manual devices to perform a five-minute recording four times a year at 730 selected locations. Altogether, we ended up with 1,500,493 minutes of sound recordings. Aim here is to outline our sampling design, methods used, and applied quality procedures in order to achieve a well-defined and high quality dataset presented for further scientific analysis. To the best of our knowledge, this represents one of the most extensive datasets currently available, which will provide a comprehensive database for future in-depth analyses of the associations between the urban AE, urban fabric and human health. HighlightsO_LIA conceptual sampling framework for measuring the urban acoustic environment is given C_LIO_LIOne of the most extensive datasets of the urban acoustic environment is introduced C_LIO_LIExperiences and results of the field work of the SALVE-Project are presented C_LI

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