Looking For The Best City Sounds

<p>Researchers in the UK are working to create a database of urban sounds -- both the good and the bad -- in an effort to help planners, designers, and architects create cities everyone wants to listen to.</p>
September 25, 2007, 2pm PDT | Nate Berg
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"Among the urban sounds researchers have found to be surprisingly agreeable are car tyres on wet, bumpy asphalt, the distant roar of a motorway flyover, the rumble of an overground train and the thud of heavy bass heard on the street outside a nightclub."

"'Sound in the environment, especially that made by other people, has overwhelmingly been considered purely as a matter of volume and generally in negative terms, as both intrusive and undesirable,' said Dr Bill Davies of Salford University, who is leading the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council-funded project Positive Soundscapes."

"'The strong focus of traditional engineering acoustics is on reducing noise level,' added Davies. 'But not only is that failing, it is also ignoring the many possibilities for creating positive soundscapes in the environments in which we live.'"

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Published on Sunday, September 23, 2007 in The Observer
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