Dr Sarah Payne

Senior Lecturer in Environmental Psychology
BSc, MSc, PhD


Areas of specialism

Environmental Psychology; Soundscapes; Restorative Environments; Greenspace; Wellbeing

Previous roles

2018 - 2022
Associate Professor of Health in the Built Environment
Heriot-Watt University
2014 - 2018
Assistant Professor of Health in the Built Environment
Heriot-Watt University


Research projects


Postgraduate research supervision

Completed postgraduate research projects I have supervised



Han Jiang, Sarah Payne (2019)Green housing transition in the Chinese housing market: A behavioural analysis of real estate enterprises, In: Journal of cleaner production241 Elsevier Ltd

The concept of green housing has been introduced in China to deal with climate issues in the housing sector. Green housing development requires a complex socio-technical transition based not just on green materials or technologies, but also, and most importantly, on the behavioural transition of housing market actors. Little is known about how Chinese real estate enterprises are responding to the green housing transition within a Chinese context. Addressing this gap, our research aims to determine whether, and to what, extent Chinese real estate enterprises are transitioning toward greener housing practices and what constraints may exist. This research gap is particularly pressing given the Chinese government's ambitions to promote energy efficiency in the new urban building sector by requiring 50% of urban new buildings to be green buildings by 2020 (NDRC, 2016). Our research reveals Chinese real estate enterprises face a dilemma of ‘going green’ and a range of institutional constraints that currently frustrate their uptake of green housing practices. Our research furthers knowledge on environmental and housing market governance within non-western and non-liberal contexts. •A stylised representation of the housing market as a specific institutional ensemble is depicted.•A range of institutional constraints to the green housing transition were identified.•Real estate enterprises face a dilemma of ‘going green’.•A clear policy pathway should guide future market action to ensure long-term institutional change.

Katherine N Irvine, Richard A Fuller, Patrick Devine-Wright, Jamie Tratalos, Sarah R Payne, Philip H Warren, Kevin J Lomas, Kevin J Gaston (2010)Ecological and psychological values of urban green space, In: Mike Jenks, Colin Jones (eds.), Dimensions of the Sustainable City2 Springer

In urban environments, perhaps more so than in any other setting, people and nature must coexist in close, and sometimes uncomfortable, proximity. With half of the world’s human population living in cities and a continued decline of biodiversity in the wider landscape, urban nature plays an increasingly important role in creating cities that are both ecologically and socially sustainable. However, understanding the value of urban green spaces as a resource requires an integration of several, rarely overlapping, approaches to evaluating and managing these places.

Sarah R Payne, Jamie Mackrill, Rebecca Cain, Jason Strelitz, Lucy Gate (2015)Developing interior design briefs for healthcare and wellbeing centres through public participation, In: Architectural Engineering and Design management11(4) Earthscan

Public participation is an increasingly important part of the design process for healthcare environments and services. Public participation often occurs towards the end of the design process, rather than at the start where the biggest influence is possible. This research used a variety of methods to enable public participation from the start of the design process. Its aim was to examine potential end users’ expectations and needs for the physical environment, to develop interior design briefs for a wellbeing centre. Fifty-three Trust members at a London NHS Hospital, UK, were involved in structured group workshops. These consisted of surveys and open discussions, table discussions, and 2D and 3D designing. Analysis identified four over-arching themes; Atmosphere, Initial Points of Contact, Waiting Experience, and Health Assessments. The results, in combination with existing evidence-based research, led to the development of an interior design brief consisting of 26 design recommendations for a wellbeing centre. These may form the basis for any healthcare and wellbeing centre, thereby adding to the growing body of evidence informing the design of future healthcare physical environments.

Katherine N Irvine, Patrick Devine-Wright, Sarah R Payne, Richard A Fuller, Birgit Painter, Kevin J Gaston (2009)Green space, soundscape and urban sustainability: an interdisciplinary, empirical study, In: Local Environment14(2)pp. 155-172 Routledge

This paper addresses two typically separate issues contributing to urban quality of life: increasing noise levels and declining quality of public green space. Drawing from environmental psychology, ecology and acoustical methods, this interdisciplinary research studied the soundscapes of three green spaces in a UK city through interviews with 70 park users, the measurement of habitat and recording of sound levels. The data reveal a prevalence of mechanical sounds and a hierarchy of preference for natural over people and mechanical sounds. There was a link between sound levels, both objective and perceived, and the type of sounds heard. The presence of these sounds varied across sites in part due to the ecological qualities of the place, specifically the presence of birds and shrub vegetation. The results suggest that people's opportunity to access quiet, natural places in urban areas can be enhanced by improving the ecological quality of urban green spaces through targeted planning and design.

Sarah R Payne, Rachel Potter, Rebecca Cain (2014)Linking the physical design of health-care environments to wellbeing indicators, In: Rachel Cooper, Elizabeth Burton, Cary L Cooper (eds.), Wellbeing: A Complete Reference Guide, Volume II, Wellbeing and the Environment2pp. 391-418 Wiley
Sarah R. Payne, Catherine Guastavino (2018)Exploring the validity of the Perceived Restorativeness Soundscape Scale: a psycholinguistic approach, In: Frontiers in Psychology92224 Frontiers Research Foundation

Soundscapes affect people’s health and wellbeing and contribute to the perception of environments as restorative. This paper continues the validation process of a previously developed Perceived Restorativeness Soundscape Scale (PRSS). The study takes a novel methodological approach to explore the PRSS face and construct validity by examining the qualitative reasons for participants’ numerical responses to the PRSS items. The structure and framing of items are first examined, to produce 44 items which are assessed on a seven-point Likert agreement scale, followed by a free format justification. Ten English speaking participants completed the PRSS interpretation questionnaire in two cafes in Montréal, Canada. Interpretation of participant free format responses led to six themes, which related to either the individual (personal attributes, personal outcomes), the environment (physical environment attributes, soundscape design) or an interaction of the two (behaviour setting, normality and typicality). The themes are discussed in relation to each Attention Restoration Theory (ART) component, namely Fascination, Being-Away, Compatibility, and Extent. The paper concludes by discussing the face and construct validity of the PRSS, as well as the wider methodological and theoretical implications for soundscape and attention restoration research, including the terminology importance in items measuring ART components and the value of all four components in assessing perceived restorativeness.

Sarah Payne (2009)Open Space: People Space. Book review, In: Journal of Environmental Psychology29(4)pp. 532-533 Academic Press Inc.
Sarah R Payne (2013)The production of a Perceived Restorativeness Soundscape Scale, In: Applied Acoustics74(2)pp. 255-263 Elsevier

This paper presents the development and testing of a Perceived Restorativeness Soundscape Scale (PRSS). The scale is designed to assess perceptions of a soundscape’s potential to provide psychological restoration. In study one, 123 participants were presented with audio–visual recordings from a UK urban, urban park and rural environment, which they rated using the created PRSS. A series of factor analyses resulted in a two factor solution consisting of a General Factor and a Being-Away-To and Coherence Factor to represent PRSS results and its theoretical components. An urban soundscape was perceived as lower in restorative potential than an urban park soundscape, which was perceived as lower in restorative potential than the rural soundscape. In study two, 194 participants used the developed PRSS to rate the soundscape of a UK urban park they had just visited. Factor analyses resulted in a General one Factor solution. The PRSS was able to differentiate between soundscapes from different urban parks. The success of considering a positive benefit of soundscapes, psychological restoration, via the PRSS is discussed.

Natalie Riedel, Irene van Kamp, Stefanie Dreger, Gabriele Bolte, Tjeerd C. Andringa, Sarah R. Payne, Dirk Schreckenberg, Benjamin Fenech, Lisa Lavia, Hilary Notley, Rainer Guski, Daniel Simon, Heike Köckler, Susanne Bartels, Miriam Weber, Marco Paviotti (2021)Considering ‘non-acoustic factors’ as social and environmental determinants of health equity and environmental justice. Reflections on research and fields of action towards a vision for environmental noise policies, In: Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives11100445 Elsevier

Despite being an overall objective of European policies, health equity and environmental justice have not yet been systematically implemented in environmental policies. Taking control over one’s environment as an element of health equity, we consider intractable exposure to transportation noise as a highly relevant policy field. The European Environmental Noise Directive is designed as a sectoral policy dealing with one environmental health determinant (noise) and drawing on the Global Burden of Disease framework, whereas health equity demands an investigation of the manifold variations in the population by combining adverse noise exposure with salutogenetic (psycho-)social and environmental resources. Such resources or the lack thereof have been referred to as ‘non-acoustic factors’ in noise- and soundscape-related research and can presumably account for vulnerability to transportation noise exposure caused by social and environmental determinants. Thus, we aim to link the current discourse on ‘non-acoustic factors’ with health equity driven by the need to go beyond average exposure–response-relations. After summarising challenges of environmental noise-related health impact assessment from a health equity perspective, we focus on residents’ control – both procedurally and environmentally – to illustrate how social and environmental determinants can cause vulnerability. We advocate to consider ‘non-acoustic factors’ as leverage to promote health equity and environmental justice through three fields of potential action: (1) developing a theoretical and methodological groundwork and multi/interdisciplinary training of students and professionals, (2) introducing comprehensible information and inclusive participation methods, and (3) creating supportive institutional frames and governance modes. The contents of this paper were derived from a workshop held at the University of Bremen in September 2020.

Yi Jin, Fan Wang, Megan Carpenter, Richard Weller, Dominic Tabor, Sarah Payne (2020)The effect of indoor thermal and humidity condition on the oldest-old people’s comfort and skin condition in winter, In: Building and Environment174106790 Elsevier

In winter, dry indoor air is a common phenomenon which is considered to be the cause for dry skin. A field study was carried out to investigate the thermal and humidity environment and its effect on the oldest-old people (80+ years old) residents{\textquoteright} thermal and humidity comfort and skin condition in a Scottish care home in winter. Eleven oldest-old residents participated voluntarily in the research. The room temperature and humidity were measured together with two skin parameters: Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL) and Stratum Corneum Hydration (SCH). The participants{\textquoteright} personal thermal and humidity comfort was studied by a questionnaire survey and short interviews.The monitoring results show that the average relative humidity (RH) in the bedrooms was lower than 40%, the minimum RH level in winter recommended by the CIBSE Guide A. The SCH appeared to be a good indicator for humidity comfort as it was significantly correlated with the room absolute humidity. The correlation makes it possible to predict the minimum humidity to prevent dry skin. The questionnaire results show the participants perceived a change in the room temperature but did not perceive the humidity changes. These research findings provide evidence-based data that could help to develop the indoor environment standard for these special occupants group of elderly people in care homes.

Olufolahan O. Osunmuyiwa, Andrew D. Peacock, Sarah Payne, P. Vigneswara Ilavarasan, David P. Jenkins (2022)Divergent imaginaries? Co-producing practitioner and householder perspective to cooling demand response in India, In: Energy Policy152112222 Elsevier

With the rise in cooling demand and the permeation of decentralised renewable energy resources in electricity networks, electricity demand-side management (DSM) has become a major tool for electricity planning and decarbonisation in the Global South. In India, the commercial application of DSM is not new, yet utility-driven residential-scale demand response (DR) remains an unexplored area. This paper contributes on two fronts – to explicate householders and practitioner's perceptions of DR: disjunctions between these perceptions and its implications for the acceptance of residential DR. Using a co-production approach, this paper draws insights from two sets of stakeholders in India - 25 DR policy and utility experts and 24 household consumers. Our results show that technological saviourism pervasively underscores practitioners understanding of DR and householder agency, a crucial factor in the adoption of DR at the residential scale remains a missing piece. The paper concludes that without considering householder agency, delivering a decarbonised future based on demand response will be challenging and consumers may remain locked into-existing socio-cultural practices that negate the adoption of DR.

Jo Birch, Clare Rishbeth, Sarah R. Payne (2020)Nature doesn't judge you – how urban nature supports young people's mental health and wellbeing in a diverse UK city, In: Health and Place62102296 Elsevier

Reviewed research reveals a lack of young people's voices articulating if and how urban nature supports their mental health and wellbeing. This paper presents qualitative research with young multi-ethnic urban residents living in a northern UK city and offers an important counter-narrative to the pervasive notion of childhood nature-deficit disorder. Using interviews and creative arts workshops, we explored the value of urban nature for the mental health and wellbeing of 24 young people aged 17–27 years, 9 of whom had lived experience of mental health difficulties. Trees, water, open spaces and views were frequently experienced nature typologies offering benefits. Deteriorating landscapes, young people's shifting identities and perceived time pressures disrupted support. Young people expressed how urban nature encounters were experienced as accepting and relational, offering a: stronger sense of self; feelings of escape; connection and care with the human and non-human world.

Östen Axelsson, Catherine Guastavino, Sarah R. Payne (2019)Editorial: Soundscape Assessment, In: Frontiers in Psychology102514 Frontiers Research Foundation
Olufolahan O. Osunmuyiwa, Sarah R. Payne, P. Vigneswara Ilavarasan, Andrew D. Peacock, David P. Jenkins (2020)I cannot live without air conditioning! The role of identity, values and situational factors on cooling consumption patterns in India, In: Energy Research and Social Science69101634 Elsevier

As the world continues to deal with climate-induced heat events, sustainable energy behaviours, or lifestyles combined with non-behavioural interventions have been identified as crucial pathways to curb the demand for air conditioners. Typically, ecological communities serve as a reference point for sustainable lifestyles as they have strong environmental self-identity and values and are more likely to further engage in pro-environmental and energy-saving actions. Yet, it is unknown if individuals within these communities will act as expected, especially when confronted with extreme climatic challenges like heatwaves. It is also unclear which factors will define individual responses to these challenges. Utilising environmental self-identity and Value-Belief-Norm theories, this paper examines factors underlying cooling consumption behaviours of households living in a Universal Community with strong environmental world views in India. Twenty in-depth qualitative interviews with residents, thematically analysed, found that while people expressed strong environmental self-identity, preferences for air conditioner use was often mediated by hedonic factors such as comfort and sleep. Moral norms played a positive role in how people operated their air conditioners. Yet, when faced with the choice of using energy-efficient air conditioners, biospheric concern was of limited importance while situational factors like cost and functionality were more pivotal. The above results raise interesting questions around the difficulties that might emerge in changing preferences around air conditioning behaviours in non-environmental communities, especially, if environmentally conscious communities which are expected to be “the locus of change for energy efficiency actions” are significantly influenced by hedonic values.

James B. Mackrill, Paul Marshall, Sarah R Payne, E. Dimitrokali, Rebecca Cain (2017)Using a bespoke situated digital kiosk to encourage user participation in healthcare environment design, In: Applied Ergonomics59(Part A)pp. 342-356 Elsevier

Involving users through participation in healthcare service and environment design is growing. Existing approaches and toolkits for practitioners and researchers are often paper based involving workshops and other more traditional design approaches such as paper prototyping. The advent of digital technology provides the opportunity to explore new platforms for user participation. This paper presents results from three studies that used a bespoke situated user participation digital kiosk, engaging 33 users in investigating healthcare environment design. The studies, from primary and secondary care settings, allowed participant feedback on each environment and proved a novel, engaging “21st century” way to participate in the appraisal of the design process. The results point toward this as an exciting and growing area of research in developing not just a new method of user participation but also the technology that supports it. Limitations were noted in terms of data validity and engagement with the device. To guide the development of user participation using similar situated digital devices, key lessons and reflections are presented.

Sneha Singh, Sarah R Payne, James B. Mackrill, Paul A. Jennings (2015)Do experiments in the virtual world effectively predict how pedestrians evaluate electric vehicle sounds in the real world?, In: Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour35pp. 119-131 Elsevier

New laws stipulate that electric vehicles must emit additional sounds to alert pedestrians of the vehicles' approach to prevent potential collisions. These new sounds will also influence pedestrians' impression of the vehicle brand. A methodology has been developed to evaluate electric vehicle (EV) sounds in a virtual-world environment by assessing; (a) detectability and recognisability to ensure pedestrians' safety, and (b) emotional evaluation of the sound quality to determine its impact on the perception of the vehicle brand. This experimental study examines external validity of the methodology. Fourteen participants evaluated an EV, emitting three sounds, in a traffic scenario in a real-world and a virtual-world environment. The traffic scenario involved a pedestrian 'standing' at a residential road junction while the EV travelled at 12 mph from behind the pedestrian, arriving at the junction at one of two pre-set times. Results show that the presented virtual-world methodology accurately predicts pedestrians' evaluation of detectability of EV sounds and powerfulness and pleasantness of the vehicle brand in the corresponding real-world scenario. It also predicts the ranked order of sounds in the real-world for detection distance and recognisability. Arguably, for similar methods and setups, virtual-worlds would effectively predict pedestrians' evaluation in the real-world. Interestingly, varying a vehicle's arrival time, just like a real-world scenario, is found to affect pedestrians' detection rate. Unlike experiments in the real-world, the presented methodology for experiments in virtual-world benefits from being reliable, quick, easy to implement, with more experimental control and options to easily manipulate any experiment variables.

Olugbenga Samuel, Guy Walker, Paul Salmon, Ashleigh Filtness, Nicholas Stevens, Christine Mulvihill, Sarah Payne, Neville Stanton (2019)Riding the emotional roller-coaster: Using the circumplex model of affect to model motorcycle riders’ emotional state-changes at intersections, In: Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour66pp. 139-150 Elsevier

This study uses Russell{\textquoteright}s Circumplex Model of Affect to examine whether motorcycle rider emotion is contingent on the environment and behavior. If it is contingent then it becomes predictable. If it is predictable it becomes potentially usable for innovating new ways to improve the safety and utility of this important transport mode. Eighteen motorcyclists took part in a 15 km on-road study during which they were videoed, tracked via GPS, and followed by a {\textquoteleft}chase vehicle{\textquoteright} as they negotiated intersections, all the while providing a concurrent verbal commentary. The verbal commentary was content analysed using a novel method for mapping the verbalized emotional themes to the Circumplex Model. Network analysis was then used to explore the state changes between affective zones in the model. Riders{\textquoteright} emotions at intersections were found to vacillate between negative and positive affect, demonstrating high degrees of emotional dynamism. Many of these transitions occur in and out of the dominant positive state of calmness, with non-calm states appearing to be aversive and those which riders were seeking to avoid. Knowing this brings forward interesting new approaches for safe intersection design.

Yi Jin, Fan Wang, Sarah R. Payne, Richard B. Weller (2021)A comparison of the effect of indoor thermal and humidity condition on young and older adults' comfort and skin condition in winter, In: Indoor and Built Environment31(3) SAGE Publications Ltd

Dry indoor air has been identified as the main cause of dry skin in winter which greatly affects older occupants' wellbeing, but HVAC design standards are based on average adults and do not specify a humidity level that can prevent dry skin. A field study was carried out to understand the difference between the younger and older people with regards to thermal and humidity comfort and skin condition in winter. The study proves a research procedure that is friendly to and preferred by the participants to measure the effect of the indoor environment on their comfort and skin condition in a real living environment setting. The results suggest that younger and older occupants are different in thermal comfort, specifically older occupants prefer a warmer environment than younger occupants, and the neutral temperature produced by the predicted mean vote method is not warm enough for older occupants. The study also suggests stratum corneum hydration appears to be a good indicator to present the effect of indoor humidity on the occupants' skin condition, which can be used to determine the minimum humidity level to reduce the risk of suffering dry skin in winter.

Sarah R. Payne, Neil Bruce (2019)Exploring the relationship between urban quiet areas and perceived restorative benefits, In: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health16(9)1611 MDPI

To help mitigate the adverse health impacts of environmental noise, European cities are recommended to identify urban quiet areas for preservation. Procedures for identifying urban quiet areas vary across cities and between countries, and little is known of the strength of the salutogenic (health-promoting) benefits they may provide. Taking a multi-site approach, this study examines the potential of three sites as urban quiet areas and their associated health benefits, particularly in relation to perceived restorative benefits. Across three cities in the United Kingdom, an urban garden, urban park, and an urban square had sound pressure levels measured. Responses from 151 visitors to these sites evaluated the place as quiet, calm, and tranquil, and assessed their experience of the place in terms of perceived sounds, its benefits, how it made them feel, and perceived restoration. Depending on the criteria used, the sites varied in their suitability as urban quiet areas, although all provided perceived health benefits. Relationships between sound levels (subjective and objective) and perceived restoration were not linear, with the type of sounds heard and other aspects of the place experience believed to affect the relationship. Building on this work, a future experimental approach based on the study sites is planned to manipulate the multiple variables involved. This will provide a clearer understanding of the relationship between urban quiet areas and perceived restorative benefits.

Sneha Singh, Sarah R Payne, Paul Jennings (2014)Towards a methodology for assessing electric vehicle exterior sounds, In: IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems15(4)pp. 1790-1800 IEEE

Laws mandate that electric vehicles emit sounds to ensure pedestrians’ safety by alerting pedestrians of the vehicles’ approach. Additionally, manufacturers want these sounds to promote positive impressions of the vehicle brand. A reliable and valid methodology is needed to evaluate electric vehicles’ exterior sounds. To help develop such a methodology, this paper examines automotive exterior sound evaluation methods in the context of experimental design and cognitive psychology. Currently such evaluations are usually conducted on-road or inside a laboratory, yet a virtual environment provides advantages of both these methods but none of their limitations. The stimuli selected for evaluations must satisfy legislative guidelines. Methods for presenting and measuring the stimuli can affect study outcomes. A methodology is proposed for conducting evaluations of an electric vehicle’s exterior sounds, testing its detectability and emotional evaluation. An experiment tested the methodology. Thirty-one participants evaluated an electric car in a virtual environment of a town’s T-junction with 15 exterior sounds as stimuli. The car’s arrival time, direction of approach and thus distance to pedestrian varied across conditions. Detection time of the sound, and pleasantness and powerfulness evaluations of the car were recorded. The vehicle’s arrival time and approach direction affected its detectability and emotional evaluation, thus these are important elements to vary and control in studies. Overall the proposed methodology increases the realistic context and experimental control than in existing listening evaluations. It benefits by combining two competing elements necessary for assessing electric vehicle exterior sounds, namely pedestrian safety and impressions of the vehicle brand.

Sarah R. Payne, Neil Bruce (2019)DeStress: Soundscapes, quiet areas and restorative environments, In: Proceedings of the Institute of Acoustics 2019Maypp. 39-46 Institute of Acoustics
Sarah R Payne, Christopher Spencer (2003)Sheffield's skateboarders move to the vest-pocket park: How planning can resolve conflicts between users of valued urban spaces, In: Sheffield Online Papers in Social Research7

Conflicts between users of urban spaces can be resolved by careful consultation, planning and design, as a case study of the creation of a skatepark within a vestpocket park indicates. Woolley and Johns in 2001 wrote about the conflicts between skaters and other users of city centre spaces; and our paper evaluates what happened next, when the city planners and skateboarders collaborated in the design of a purpose-built skate park. We sampled patterns of park use, and employed questionnaires and cognitive mapping techniques to evaluate the park as a whole; while interviews with the skateboarders enabled us to evaluate the new facility’s success in meeting the four criteria of accessibility, sociability, trickability and compatability. Not only are potential conflicts resolved, but the presence of this new activity Is positively evaluated by the other users, the local residents, local businesses. In a city such as Sheffield, some of the activities of youth may bring them into conflict with older citizens, even when those activities are energetic, skilled, and give young citizens a sense of self worth. Skateboarding is just such an activity, and this paper is a study of how careful planning which involves those young people can help resolve conflicts

Sarah R Payne, Myrto Williams (2013)Urban stimulation and natural restoration, In: Ionic Magazine5

It is all too easy for people living in urban environments (urbanites) to get caught up in the busy hectic worlds of their lives. There is so much to do and enjoy, ranging from work, to playing and watching sports, cinemas, ballets, libraries, exercise… the list is endless. Each of these experiences provides stimulation for the brain and perhaps sometimes relaxation. In the urban world we are constantly bombarded with visual, acoustic, tactile, or olfactory sensory stimulation. Each of these demands our attention, processing, and response, be that to fight or flight, inhibit or consume.

Sarah R Payne (2008)Are perceived soundscapes within urban parks restorative?, In: Proceeding of Acoustics 08June
Sarah R Payne (2008)The classification, semantics, and perception of urban park sounds: methodological issues, In: Spring Conference of the Institute of Acoustics 2008: Widening Horizons in AcousticsMay(2)
Sarah R. Payne, Helena Nordh, Ramzi Hassan (2015)Are urban park soundscapes restorative or annoying?June

Urban parks play an important role in creating healthy and sustainable cities for urban dwellers. They provide opportunities to interact with nature and visually the perceiver can feel like they are immersed in a different world to the city. Therefore, urban parks can be restorative environments allowing people to recover from any directed attentional fatigue. Opportunities to restore are important for people to avoid prolonged fatigue, stress, and potentially, symptoms of burnout. However, acoustically, urban parks can also be filled with the sounds from the surrounding city which may be less restorative than natural sounds. Using a virtual reality laboratory, this study assesses the perceived restorativeness and noise annoyance of two urban park soundscapes. Seventy-seven participants viewed a video whereby ‘they’ walked along a street and into an urban park. They rested there for a few minutes before walking back out of the park. This video was either accompanied by no sound, or one of two created soundscapes containing natural sounds and traffic. Participants evaluated their experience in terms of the perceived restorativeness of the environment/soundscape and where appropriate, noise annoyance. This paper will discuss the outcome of these results and the relationship between the two concepts of restoration and annoyance.

Sarah R Payne (2009)Producing a scale to measure the restorativeness of urban park soundscapes, In: Proceedings of inter-noise 2009 innovations in practical noise controlpp. 2451-2457
Sarah R. Payne (2019)Restorative Soundscapes
Sarah R Payne (2010)Urban park soundscapes and their perceived restorativeness, In: Proceedings of the Institute of Acoustics32pp. 264-271

ndividual sounds and soundscapes can influence individuals, their place evaluations and potentially their psychological restoration. As urban park soundscapes can vary greatly, ranging from quiet, serene oases to noisy city spaces, it is important to understand how they are perceived and evaluated, as they could influence people’s experience and evaluation of the park in general. This paper studies the different types of soundscapes that are perceived in urban parks and examines if these soundscapes vary in their perceived restorativeness.

Sarah R Payne (2011)Soundscapes within urban parks: their restorative value, In: Marino Bonaiuto, Mirilia Bonnes, Anna Maria Nenci, Giuseppe Carrus (eds.), Urban Diversities - Environmental and Social Issues Hogrefe & Huber
Sarah R Payne (2010)Urban sustainability, psychological restoration and soundscapes, In: V Corral-Verdugo, C.H. Garcia-Cadena, M Frias-Armenta (eds.), Psychological approaches to sustainability. Current trends in theory, research and appliacationspp. 411-432 Nova Science Publishers
Heather Wilkinson, Liz Taylor, Mary Marshall, Julie Christie, Amanda Nioi, Alison Morven Hamilton-Pryde, Sarah R. Payne, Phillipa Hare, James McKillop, Agnes Houston, Anne Ramsay, Archie Noone, Frank Ramsay (2017)The ‘New Dementia’: Widening Choices for our Future Support Scottish Universities Insight Institute
Lisa Lavia, Caroline Brown, Sarah R. Payne (2021)Soundscape assessment of non-acoustic factors for effective stakeholder engagement in airport expansion projects in the UK, In: Proceedings of INTER-NOISE 2021August Institute of Noise Control Engineering

Effective soundscape planning, in accordance with the ISO soundscape standard series, is predicated on accurately assessing the human response to sound in context. Accurately assessing the human response for this purpose requires the identification of context specific non-acoustic factors (NAFs). In particular, the NAF of stakeholders' perceived control over sound from developments directly impacts the effectiveness of engagement in planning processes. However, what constitutes perceived control can vary widely, including stakeholder's experiences, perceptions and requirements in context. Perceived control affects quality of life and wellbeing, therefore it is a critical factor in sustainable planning and development processes. This primarily qualitative, constructivist grounded theory study investigates the NAFs comprising stakeholders' perceived control and the impact on effective engagement in the context of planning and soundscape management for airport expansion projects in the UK. The initial stages of this research included participant observation and 1:1 interviews. Preliminary findings indicate multiple context specific discrete aspects regarding communication quality (as distinct from quantity) as intrinsic to developing, supporting and maintaining perceived control amongst stakeholders. This research builds on existing soundscape and noise and health findings to develop a conceptual framework for effective stakeholder engagement for standardised soundscape design and planning in the built environment.

Sarah R. Payne, Jo Birch, Clare Rishbeth (2018)Exploring urban ‘Feel Good Places’ across cultures and agesJuly

An Exterior Sound Simulator (ESS) is a new technique for evaluating automotive exterior sounds in a virtual environment. These virtual environments can be made to replicate real-world environments where a pedestrian is likely to interact with a vehicle. Thus, they can provide a more realistic context than conventional laboratory listening methods, whilst providing more experimental control than in conventional on-road evaluations. Therefore, ESS combines the advantages of the traditional laboratory listening test and on-road evaluation methods, but has very few of their limitations. However, to be a successful evaluation tool this simulator needs testing for its external validity, i.e. if the results obtained using simulation also hold true for a comparable real-world situation. This paper describes a comparative study of evaluations performed in a real-world environment and in a replicated virtual environment using ESS. Fourteen participants evaluated an electric car in both the real-world environment and the virtual environment. The visual scenario represented a pedestrian standing at the junction of a residential road crossing while the car, starting each time from one of two different locations situated behind the pedestrian on the adjacent parallel road, and travelling at 12 mph, arrived at the junction at one of the two different times. Three potential sounds from a vehicle manufacturer were compared by measuring the vehicle’s detection distance, by evaluation of the vehicle sounds as recognisable and detectable, and through evaluation of the car as being powerful and pleasant. Analysis of variance at an alpha level of 0.05 showed no significant differences between the results obtained from the virtual and real-world experiments for the subjective evaluations of detectability, powerfulness and pleasantness. Thus, subjective evaluations of the vehicle exterior sounds using the ESS are representative of similar real-world evaluations.

This paper examines the role of sensory expectation in people’s experiences and perceptions of a range of different urban environments in English towns and cities by focussing upon those related to smell and sound specifically. It draws from two separate but related sensewalking studies undertaken between 2004 and 2009: one exploring urban smell experiences, the other examining urban sound experiences. In drawing from, and comparing the findings of these two studies, sensory expectations are argued as highly influential in urban place experience and perception, providing different layers of meaning and understanding of place, and presenting challenges and opportunities for architects and urban designers when creating more human-centred places in the city. In addition, perceptions of the smells and sounds themselves are revealed as highly influenced by the environmental context within which they are, or are not, detected. As a result, the authors advocate a more proactive approach to the consideration of smells and sound information when designing and managing urban sensory environments.

Paul Marshall, Rebecca Cain, Sarah R Payne (2011)Situated crowdsourcing: a pragmatic approach to encouraging participation in healthcare design, In: 2011 5th International Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for HealthcareMay
Rebecca Cain, Paul Marshall, Sarah R Payne (2011)Participatory design fit for the 21st Century: improving the design of an emergency department in a UK hospital, In: Proceedings of the 4th World Conference on Design Research, IASDR 2011October
Lisa Lavia, Caroline Brown, Sarah R. Payne (2020)Soundscape, engagement and planning practices within airport expansion projects in the UK, In: Proceedings of 2020 International Congress on Noise Control EngineeringAugust Korean Society of Noise and Vibration Engineering

Central to soundscape management in the built environment is how people respond to the sound environment of a place which either currently exists, is being imagined, or once it is developed. Therefore, soundscape practice advocates that stakeholders become co-specifiers/designers of projects from the project design and inception stage. A significant challenge to assessing/predicting stakeholders' response to sound is the impact of non-acoustic factors (NAFs) which are acknowledged to account for a wide variation of human responses to sound in context. In particular, the NAF of 'perceived control' over the sound source/maker has been identified as extremely important. Stakeholders' perceived control over existing/anticipated sound from developments directly impacts the effectiveness of engagement in statutory planning processes. Further, perceived control has been shown to affect human wellbeing and is therefore a critical element to be accounted for in sustainable planning and development practices. This study investigates stakeholders' perceived control and the impact on effective engagement in the context of planning processes for airport expansion projects in the UK. This research builds upon existing soundscape and noise and health findings to develop a conceptual framework for effective stakeholder engagement for soundscape design and planning in the built environment.

Yi Jin, Fan Wang, Sarah Payne, Richard Weller, Tabor Dominic (2018)Testing a procedure of using transepidermal water loss to measure the effect of dry air on occupant's skin condition and hygrothermal comfort in the real living, In: Edward Ng, Square Fong, Chao Ren (eds.), Proceedings of the 34th International Conference on Passive and Low Energy Architecture3 School of Architecture, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

As a part of three years project, this study was the test of a research procedure that will be applied on older occupants in care homes in the future research. It aims to investigate the feasibility of using Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL) to measure the effect of dry air on occupant's skin condition and hygrothermal comfort in a real living environment. 9 young adults participated in the 4-week study. Domestic humidifiers were used in each room to alter room humidity under a sequence of interventions. Data was collected under the circumstance of no interferences to occupants' daily life. The collected data includes room temperature, relative humidity (RH) and TEWL on front arm. Results show that the measured TEWL was not significantly correlated to room RH due to inappropriate research procedure. Room humidity was effectively altered to 40% RH through the domestic humidifier used.

Sneha Singh, Sarah R Payne, Jamie Mackrill, Paul A Jennings (2014)Using virtual environments as a tool to evaluate electric vehicle sounds.November

Legislations mandate that electric vehicles should emit sounds to alert pedestrians of the vehicle's approach to ensure pedestrians' safety. Additionally, manufacturers want these sounds to promote positive impressions of the vehicle brand. A reliable and valid methodology is needed to evaluate electric vehicles' exterior sounds on the criteria of safety and brand. This paper summarizes the framework and findings of a research project aimed at developing such a methodology. The project firstly examined literature. This helped propose a methodology for evaluating an electric vehicle's exterior sounds which tests its detectability and emotional evaluation in a virtual environment. Experiment 1 tested the methodology. Thirty-one participants detected an electric car, emitting 15 sounds, and evaluated the car as powerful and pleasant in a virtual environment depicting a town T-junction. The car's arrival time, direction of approach, and thus distance to pedestrian, varied across conditions. The vehicle's arrival time affected its detectability and powerfulness evaluation. Similarly, its direction of approach, while travelling at different distances to the pedestrian, affected the powerfulness evaluation. Thus, these are important elements to manipulate during listening evaluations. The methodology was improved using the results and participants' feedback. Experiment 2 tested the external validity of the revised methodology. Fourteen participants evaluated an electric car, emitting 3 sounds, in both the real-world and the virtual environment of a residential crossing. The car's detectability, emotional evaluations and the sounds' recognisability as a vehicle were measured. No significant difference was found in subjective detectability and emotional evaluation in the virtual and realworld. Thus, these results may be generalised to a similar real-world situation. Overall the methodology increases the realistic context and experimental control compared to existing listening evaluations. It benefits by combining two competing elements necessary for assessing electric vehicle exterior sounds, namely pedestrians' safety and vehicle brand.

Sneha Singh, Sarah R Payne, Jamie Mackrill, Paul A Jennings (2015)Perceived sound quality of additional alert sounds of an electric vehicleAugust

New legislations stipulate that electric vehicles (EVs) must emit additional sounds. These sounds should be intuitively recognisable as a vehicle in operation and alert pedestrians, cyclists, and other road users of the vehicle’s approach to prevent collisions. Additionally, these sounds influence impressions of the vehicle brand. Two experiments evaluated the sound quality of an EV emitting additional sounds from the perspective of a pedestrian in a virtual and a real-world traffic scenario. Perceived sound quality of the EV exterior sounds was evaluated in terms of a) objective measurement of detection rate (detection distance/time), and b) subjective ratings of “recognisability as vehicle”, “detectability” of the sounds, and “powerfulness” and “pleasantness” of the vehicle brand. Sound pressure level, loudness, sharpness, and roughness were found to be the key metrics of the EV exterior sounds that had significant strong correlation (p

Jamie Mackrill, Sarah R Payne, Paul A Jennings, Rebecca Cain (2011)Exploring a cardio-thoracic hospital ward soundscape in relation to retorationSeptember
Sneha Singh, Sarah R. Payne, James B. Mackrill, Paul A. Jennings (2015)Perceived sound quality of exterior sounds of an electric vehicle

New legislations stipulate that electric vehicles (EVs) must emit additional sounds. These sounds should be intuitively recognisable as a vehicle in operation and alert pedestrians, cyclists, and other road users of the vehicle’s approach to prevent collisions. Additionally, these sounds influence impressions of the vehicle brand. Two experiments evaluated the sound quality of an EV emitting additional sounds from the perspective of a pedestrian in a virtual and a real-world traffic scenario. Perceived sound quality of the EV exterior sounds was evaluated in terms of a) objective measurement of detection rate (detection distance/time), and b) subjective ratings of "recognisability as vehicle", "detectability" of the sounds, and "powerfulness" and "pleasantness" of the vehicle brand. Sound pressure level, loudness, sharpness, and roughness were found to be the key metrics of the EV exterior sounds that had significant strong correlation (p