AcouStic QuAlity and HeaLth in Urban EnVironmEnts


In a project funded by MERCUR, the Centre for Urban Epidemiology at the University Hospital of Essen and the Technical University of Dortmund are analysing how soundscapes and health in the Ruhr area are connected.

The background sounds of urban regions have been a concern of architecture and construction technology for years. In the context of health research however, sound has been restricted to the risk factor noise. Soundscapes comprise the sound events of the natural and physical environment, which are determined by sound level, frequency and time. Soundscape Ecology focuses on the spatio-temporal heterogeneity of soundscapes in (urban) landscapes and is thus a suitable methodical approach to the analysis of the relationships between soundscapes and human health. The pilot project aims to develop metrological and spatio-statistical models for the identification of criteria for health-promoting soundscapes as well as the analysis of health effects of soundscapes in urban agglomerations. By direct and automated auditory measurements, one of the largest multi-seasonal urban Soundscape datasets is to be established and blended with health-related data from the population based Heinz Nixdorf recall (HNR) study. In addition, local residents are to be interviewed regarding their perceptions of soundscapes. The project serves as a starting point for an innovative approach to understanding the effects of sound quality on health in urban regions as well as for development of solution strategies in spatial and city planning.


Contact InUPH- Institute for Urban Public Health

Overall project management: Prof. Dr. Susanne Moebus


Project coordinator: Jonas Hornberg
Phone number: 0201 - 72377 216


Postal address: Institute for Urban Public Health (InUPH), University Hospital Essen, Hufelandstr. 55, 45147 Essen, Germany.


Contact TU Dortmund - Faculty of Spatial Planning

Overall project management: Prof. Dr. Dietwald Gruehn


Project coordinator: Dr. Bryce Lawrence
Phone number: 0231 - 755 7813


Postal address: TU Dortmund, Faculty of Spatial Planning, Chair of Landscape Ecology and Landscape Planning, 44221 Dortmund, Germany

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