In a case study the soundscape of an urban area was investigated in order to show the advantages of a soundscape approach for environmental noise research. The carrying out of the detailed study was motivated by complaints, sleep disturbances and impediments in children's learning in an urban area. Based on narrative interviews the investigation was supposed to provide information about people's perceptions and evaluations of the area as well as attitudes towards specific environmental stimuli. The acoustic constellations which the residents are permanently exposed to were recorded and evaluated. Visual factors which influence sound perception were also taken into account and included into the analysis. Narrative interviews were analyzed systematically with the conceptualization of the Grounded Theory as a sociological method of analysis. By means of the results conclusions about structures and moderating factors in the process of perception could be drawn. With the help of this knowledge gained factors "behind" the dose-response curves can be determined. Furthermore, perception-related decisions can be derived to handle environmental noise problems adequately. All in all, this piece of work shows that the soundscape approach with its multidisciplinary groundings and perspectives can help to overcome sectoral barriers.
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