Cultivating Urban Sound

Unknown Potentials for Urbanism
Master of Urbanism, Institute of Urbanism and Landscape, Oslo School of Architecture and Design
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There are good reasons to assume that the European cities in some years will sound fundamentally different from they do today. The progress of the European cities doesn’t only affect the built structure of the urban environment, rather a whole series of features are exposed to change, such as ways of life, socio-economic structures, demographic patterns, spatial logics, symbolic values, atmospheres, smells, and sounds.
What are the audible consequences for the European cities? How does the change in urban sound affect urban quality? And in particular, what does this change necessitate for urban planning in order to keep or even to improve a city’s listening quality?
This applied-oriented master thesis aims to explore the opportunities for planning and designing urban sound. In particular, the benefits of taking into consideration «urban sound in the planning and designing process» are studied. The thesis has been carried out in Zürich, Oslo, Berlin, Bern, London, and Hamburg with the help of expert interviews. Sound experts, including consultants, planners, and sound artists, as well as representatives of noise control authorities and municipalities have been interviewed. Field recordings have been performed in order to find listening examples and to underline the statements made in the interviews.
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