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Title:Listening to urban sound: A mixed-method approach for understanding human mobility, individual sound exposure, and psychological well-being
Author(s):Kou, Lirong
Director of Research:Kwan, Mei-Po
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Kwan, Mei-Po
Doctoral Committee Member(s):McLafferty, Sara; Cidell, Julie; Stewart, William
Department / Program:Geography & Geographic InfoSci
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):environmental health
noise and health
individual exposure assessment
uncertain geographic context problem
mixed methods
geographic ecological momentary assessment
geo-narrative analysis
Abstract:Researchers in the fields of health geography, urban planning, and environmental health have extensively studied the relationships among human movement, environmental exposure, and their effects on human health. Urbanization brings about ever-growing noise problems in cities. Exposure to high levels of sound is associated with health risks involving annoyance, disturbance, stress, cognitive performance impairment, hearing loss, and cardiovascular diseases. Despite great investment in noise abatement regulations, these regulations do not necessarily control noise pollution or improve urban environments. This is because sound involves not only objective aspects that can be measured in terms of decibels but also socio-psychological aspects that are subjectively perceived by individuals. Urban sound should not merely be considered as an environmental pollutant. Instead, it can be therapeutic resources for human health. Further, individuals’ subjective perceptions of whether a sound is a noise are largely influenced by contexts. However, the processes of how people experience urban sound and the mechanisms of how human mobility influences people’s perceptions of and responses to sound remain unclear. This dissertation analyzes the relationships among human mobility, geographic contexts, individuals’ objective exposures to and subjective evaluations of sound, and the impacts on their psychological health. It collects individual-based daily movements and sound exposure data at a fine spatiotemporal resolution using survey questionnaires, GPS trackers, portable sound sensors, activity-travel diaries, and geographic ecological momentary assessment. Further, this dissertation also conducts in-depth interviews and geo-narrative analysis to gain a more in-depth understanding of people’s lived experiences of urban sound in diverse geographic locations and contexts during their daily movements. Drawing upon the time-geographic approach, it uses mixed methods to advance knowledge of spatiotemporal contexts in understanding individual-based sound exposure and psychological health. This dissertation provides effective approaches to coping with urban noise pollution, resolving tensions between residents and urban sonic environments, and providing a holistic perspective for understanding human-environment interactions from a sonic perspective.
Issue Date:2020-07-14
Rights Information:Copyright 2020 Lirong Kou
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-10-07
Date Deposited:2020-08

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