Assessing the Soundscape Appropriateness in the Vicinity of a Heliport in an Urban Park of Quito (Ecuador) Using Immersive Audio-Visual Scenarios
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DepartmentCiencias y Técnicas de la Navegación y Construcciones Navales
SourceInt. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 6116
Heliports are facilities that play a fundamental role in security and emergency operations. Since rotorcrafts do not need much space for take-off and landing, heliports are normally immersed in the urban fabric of our cities. However, they generate high noise levels, which can cause a nuisance, especially in outdoor areas intended for the recreation of citizens. This paper studies how helicopter noise affects the perception of the soundscape appropriateness and landscape quality in the vicinity of a heliport located in an urban park, using semantic differential scales and appraisals on the noise sources. The study area was the "Parque del Bicentenario" in Quito, Ecuador. Immersive Virtual Reality (IVR) laboratory tests using 360-degree videos and spatial audio were preferred to on-site questionnaires, given the difficulty of predicting when helicopter noise events would occur. For the statistical analysis, objective acoustic and psychoacoustic parameters have also been considered. Results show that the soundscape is perceived as more pleasant and less chaotic when there is no helicopter noise. Furthermore, with the same visual stimuli, the appraisals of the landscape are much better in the scenarios without the helicopter noise. Sharpness is the psychoacoustic parameter that best explains the variance of the subjective variables evaluated.