Sounds in the city workshops: integrating the soundscape approach in urban design and planning practices

Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
This paper discusses urban sound and is based on the work of the Sounds in the City2 team, operating out of McGill University in Montreal, Canada. The team's focus is an approach called soundscape, which is a departure from a more traditional approach to urban sound. Urban planning education and practice have traditionally been focused on noise mitigation, concentrating almost exclusively on reducing urban noise levels. However, this method has its limitations because a quiet city is not necessarily an interesting or better one. The soundscape approach, on the other hand, encourages positive sounds in urban environments while mitigating only unwanted sounds and it also necessitates planning the environment far in advance rather than waiting for noise problems to occur. This approach is attracting the attention of many as an innovative and positive shift in the way we create, manage and control sound in our cities. It also presents the opportunity for more collaboration between planners, designers3 and sound experts to improve our urban spaces. Soundscape has been defined by a diverse International Organization for Standards (ISO) working group of soundscape researchers and professionals as “the acoustic environment as perceived and experienced by people or society, in context” (ISO 12913-1, 2014).
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Spaces of Dialog for Places of Dignity, Lisbon, 11-14th July, 2017
All rights reserved