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Environmental Noise Assessment and Analysis for a Sustainable Environment

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Sustainability and Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 November 2024 | Viewed by 754

Special Issue Editors

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Guest Editor
UNIMIB · Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, Milan, Italy
Interests: soundscape in urban and natural areas; eco-acoustics; soundscape in marine habitats; noise mapping
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the ever-changing modern society, the presence of noise has become a daily threat to a worryingly large proportion of the population. However, it is not only humans who are affected by noise: studies have proven that noise exposure caused by humans has a negative impact on wildlife, inducing non-natural migrations, reproductive problems and even long-term survival concerns. Moreover, sounds are used by animals to communicate, navigate, interact socially, reproduce, take care of broods, and perform a wide variety of other functions.

Thus, the protection of the environment from the encroaching expansion of human activities needs a firm response from the entire scientific community in terms of developing a shared awareness of harmful effects on human health and on the entire ecosystem. Natural habitats, both terrestrial and aquatic, are strongly affected by human-made sounds from devices such as engines, cars, cargo ships and musical instruments. These sound sources, generally referred to as technophonies, add to acoustic diversity and often mask natural sounds. Hence, the necessity of extracting information from environments teeming with sounds requires a wide array of strategies in order to analyse, assess, predict and possibly mitigate the effects of such noise exposure on wildlife. The identification of acoustic events, new methods for soundscape assessments, studies on communication interference, and potential effects of exposure on invertebrates and vegetation are still hot topics that remain incompletely understood.

This Special Issue aims to collect recent studies and solutions, bringing together researchers from different disciplines in order to provide a fuller picture of this topic.

This Special Issue also aims to to encourage governmental organizations to include the complexity of the natural soundscape into the current regulatory system and to consider it as a guideline for the creation and restoration of sustainable environments.

Dr. Roberto Benocci
Dr. Giovanni Zambon
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • soundscape analysis
  • new techniques of analysis of environment sound
  • effect of noise on wildlife (terrestrial and marine)
  • recognition of noise sources
  • automated detection of disturbing sounds
  • ecoacoustics
  • bioacoustics

Published Papers (1 paper)

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15 pages, 5498 KiB  
Research on a New Soundscape Evaluation Method Suitable for Scenic Areas
by Jing Liu, Ziyan Dan and Zengfeng Yan
Sustainability 2024, 16(9), 3707; - 28 Apr 2024
Viewed by 563
Existing studies have focused mainly on the environmental quality of scenic spots, such as sufficient oxygen content in the air and a high concentration of negative oxygen ions. The perceptions of soundscape in scenic areas are generally good, but there are few reports [...] Read more.
Existing studies have focused mainly on the environmental quality of scenic spots, such as sufficient oxygen content in the air and a high concentration of negative oxygen ions. The perceptions of soundscape in scenic areas are generally good, but there are few reports on the quantitative evaluation of soundscape quality in scenic areas. In this study, we analysed existing methods for evaluating the soundscape of a landscape, evaluated the soundscape comfort of scenic spots, analysed and refined the natural environmental factors affecting the soundscape, and proposed for the first time to use physical environmental indicators such as the air temperature difference, relative humidity, natural illuminance ratio and wind speed as environmental evaluation variables. A quantitative method was used to calculate the soundscape comfort index (SSI) of the landscape. The physical environmental indicators related to famous scenic spots in China, namely, Qingcheng mountain field testing and a subjective soundscape of tourist satisfaction survey, were used to calculate the corresponding soundscape comfort index values, and a quantitative analysis of soundscape comfort and differences in temperature, relative humidity, the illumination ratio, and the correlation between the equivalent sound level A was performed. The measured values of the temperature difference and light ratio were significantly correlated with the soundscape comfort index. The distribution of sound landscape comfort was given by a GIS map, and soundscape comfort was evaluated scientifically. The correlations between soundscape comfort and landscape patch number (PN), landscape patch density (PD), diversity index (Shannon), and landscape shape index (LSI) were quantitatively analysed, which confirmed that the perception of soundscape comfort was affected by landscape space to different degrees. This study has scientific significance and application value for the soundscape evaluation of scenic areas and has significance for soundscape evaluation and design strategies for urban landscapes. Full article
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