Vol. 13 No. 2 (2022): Special Issue
Research Article

Exploring spatial patterns of environmental noise and perceived sound source dominance in urban areas. : Case study: the city of Athens, Greece

Dimitris MARKOU
National Technical University of Athens, Greece

Published 2022-04-12


  • Noise mapping,
  • Perceived sound source dominance,
  • Acoustic environment,
  • Urban areas,
  • Athens

How to Cite

MARKOU, Dimitris. 2022. “Exploring Spatial Patterns of Environmental Noise and Perceived Sound Source Dominance in Urban Areas. : Case Study: The City of Athens, Greece”. European Journal of Geography 13 (2):060-078. https://doi.org/10.48088/ejg.d.mar.


The aim of the present study is to map spatial patterns related to noise pollution and the
acoustic environment -in a broader context- in the urban area of Athens, Greece. The
primary goal of this thesis is to present a comprehensive approach that combines
elements of two basic methodologies related to acoustic environment studies: a) noise
mapping and b) the soundscape approach. The main inputs are environmental noise
measurements and perceptual sound source-related observations. The results feature
three noise pollution maps (LAeq,30 sec, L10, and L90 indices) and three sound source
maps which reflect the way in which the human ear perceives the presence of sounds.
Additionally, the question of whether the spatial distribution of sound source dominance
can be explained by the dispersion of environmental noise levels was examined using
geographically weighted regressions (GWR). The GWR models showed that sound
source-related observations are explained to a significant extent by all three indicators.
Four important findings emerge from the analysis. Firstly, areas with high levels of noise
pollution are characterized by high to moderate presence of technological and absence
of anthropic and natural sounds. Secondly, regions, where there is a simultaneous
presence of all sound sources, are characterized by moderate to low noise levels.
Thirdly, the absence of technological sounds is observed in quiet areas. Finally, areas
featuring a moderate presence of technological and natural sounds are mostly urban
green spaces built-in proximity to the main road network.


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