Let the Children Listen: A First Approximation to the Sound Environment Assessment of Children through a Soundwalk Approach
Journal article, 2020

The urban sound environment is one of the layers that characterizes a city, and several methodologies are used for its assessment, including the soundwalk approach. However, this approach has been tested mainly with adults. In the work presented here, the aim is to investigate a soundwalk methodology for children, analyzing the sound environment of five different sites of Gothenburg, Sweden, from children's view-point, giving them the opportunity to take action as an active part of society. Both individual assessment of the sound environment and acoustic data were collected. The findings suggested that among significant results, children tended to rank the sound environment as slightly better when lower levels of background noise were present (LA90). Moreover, traffic dominance ratings appeared as the best predictor among the studied sound sources: when traffic dominated as a sound source, the children rated the sound environment as less good. Additionally, traffic volume appeared as a plausible predictor for sound environment quality judgments, since the higher the traffic volume, the lower the quality of the sound environment. The incorporation of children into urban sound environment research may be able to generate new results in terms of children's understanding of their sound environment. Moreover, sound environment policies can be developed from and for children.


field studies

urban sound planning

built environment


environmental noise


Laura Estévez Mauriz

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Applied Acoustics

Jens Forssén

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Applied Acoustics

Georgios Zachos

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Applied Acoustics

Wolfgang Kropp

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Applied Acoustics

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

1661-7827 (ISSN) 1660-4601 (eISSN)

Vol. 17 12 1-18 4185

Subject Categories

Civil Engineering


Fluid Mechanics and Acoustics





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