Amr A Elhamy
Soundscape Experience and Its Impact On Place Image
The visual character of a city has always been the main focus for many researchers regardless of the sonic character of the city. The soundscape experience has been introduced as an approach to rethink the evaluation of sound and its effects on the quality of life in a city. Soundscape, however, suggests exploring all of the sound in an environment in its complexity, cognition, meaning, and context. The sonic environment takes into consideration the conditions and purposes of its production and perception. Recently, Alexandria is suffering from many undesirable sounds affecting its sonic character, which have become unbearable day after day. Internal immigration in Alexandria caused many problems in traffic, industries, construction and public work. All of such elements have led to disturbance and distress by losing the city image and its visual and sonic character. Enhancing the soundscape could preserve the sonic character of any city. Soundscape experience can enhance the use of sound sources through the local expertise of the particular environment’s inhabitants. It is important that available sound link with users cognition be the leading factor. As a result, it can better match the people’s needs with planned design scheme. In this research, the light is shed on the importance of soundscape and showing how it helps to protect the character of the city. Visual studies are not enough to define the city. More tangible and more sensory components are introduced in order to have a comprehensive city image experience and to use it like a tool to build a cognitive map for the city. The thesis will cover the previous studies in this field followed by examples of soundscape experiences in Cairo and some Indian cities, which will be analyzed in order to create successful criteria that can be a tool to assess the soundscape experience in Alexandria. These criteria can highlight the soundscape problems of Alexandria, which help set recommendations for better soundscape experience and saving the city character, protecting the real sound sources that characterize the city, neglecting all the unwanted noises that can mask the real sonic environment, emphasizing the importance of soundscape along with visual studies and finally enhancing the soundscape experience.