This course explains how the principles of soundscape theory can be integrated in urban planning and design to mitigate harmful sound impacts from urban noise pollution by creating healthier sonic environments for residents and visitors in urban areas. The workshop includes a review of sound management techniques and includes a sound walk of the local area and an intervention exercise related to areas of the walk. Participants will learn about using "local experts" to inform smart city sound planning. Attendance is required for the duration of the event in order to receive CM credit for all AICP members. AIA credit is also available. This workshop is intended for planners, architects, landscape architects, city officials, and others whose work interfaces with sound and communities.

The event will cover traditional, modern, and future approaches to creatively designing soundscapes and managing sound in urban settings. Participants will understand the benefits of using state-of-the-art acoustical measuring, modeling and simulation techniques to engage stakeholders in making intelligent, information-based decisions about the acoustical qualities of design options experienced either in a virtual mode in a meeting room or in a simulated sound field on the actual site of the project. These processes engage citizens in meaningful dialogue about sonic criteria for sustainable, livable environments as part of healthy communities and natural based solutions for acoustic resiliency based on what they can actually hear as opposed to map or graphs of decibels with numbers that are not really understood by the general public. (APA-CM Sustainability and Resilience (S&R) – Technology Tools for S&R). This includes soundscape and soundwalk techniques and involving stakeholders and the community as the local experts in understanding the aspects of the sonic environment to inform planning decisions.

Soundscape analysis and design methods fall into APA – CM category 9c Emerging issues for liveable communities and new urbanism to create relevant deign activities to engage planners and citizens in active planning for the sonic qualities for proposed interventions. APA-CM category 6 c for innovation to create consensus for planning activities that lead to community improvement is inherent in the engagement of stakeholders through the soundwalks and soundscape design process. These innovative methods that can facilitate public involvement with the fairly abstract science of acoustics through experiential listening are often not familiar with planners. Planning and zoning must consider the impact of permitted activities by right and potential conditional land uses, as they relate to sound and the impact on the immediate zone/zones, as well as areas/sounds that can disturb communities, or have negative health effects. Understanding how to engage in this process can bring other benefits to the planning process. For example, the use of soundwalks and soundscape techniques can involve the community and inform potential interventions as described in APA-CM category 5 Plan Implementation and Placemaking items b techniques involved in resilient, sustainable planning and d urban design for livable, walkable communities. The process of engaging stakeholders to actually listen to the current sounds of their community via the soundwalks and then to listen to aural simulations of proposed changes also addresses APA-CM category 4 Plan Making item e. planning process methods to promote stakeholder involvement and engage diverse communities as opposed to listening to a consultant talk about abstract, logarithmic decibel sound levels that will result from a project.

The workshop will (re)introduce the basics of the sound management toolbox and approaches to legislative and zoning efforts (and their interrelation), and introduce soundwalks and the soundscape technique to plan smart city development and resolve issues related to unwanted sound. The course outline will address fundamental knowledge of related professions, specifically acoustical consultants and soundscape designers and how they can constructively and positively influence the design process (APA -CM category 1 item f). Basics of acoustics in urban, suburban and rural environments will be discussed to refresh knowledge in these areas. Soundscape processes to engage planners and the community in communication and interaction about relevant and informed ideas and understandings available to non-experts in acoustics about the sonic consequences of design alternatives and the ability to experientially articulate planning issues to a wide variety or audiences (APA-CM category 3 item k) will be shown through the actual soundwalk and guided focus group discussions and in case studies of successful projects in complex environments. The ability of innovative computer measurement and modeling tools to assess sounds in communities and to simulate proposed conditions will be presented to illustrate the practicality of implementing these concepts in large and small projects as ways to achieve livable, walkable communities (APA-CM category 5 items b and d) and as ways to expand choices for all persons to participate knowledgeably in the planning process about a traditionally abstract and difficult subject (APA-CM category 8 items b and d).

Space is limited to 50 participants, includes lunch and registration is free. This is an outreach program of the Acoustical Society of America.

Civic Design Center
138 2nd Ave N #106, Nashville, TN 37201
Date & Time
December 8, 2022, 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Workshop Schedule
Smart Sound Planning for Cities
10:00 am Introduction
Meet and greet, (name and affiliation) outline of the program, define soundscape, introduce the soundwalk.

10:15-11:15 am Soundwalk (50 minute walk, 10 min to settle back in)

11:15-11:35 am Standards, decibels, metrics, law enforcement/ordinance vs zoning interrelations, how does enforcement get done?

11:35-11:35 am Health Effects of Noise

11:50-12:00 am Q&A

12:00-1:00 pm (Complimentary Lunch and 1 credit hour) Traditional and modern (soundscape) methods (measurement, modeling, documentations, soundwalks, soundscape design) and toolbox for developing ordinances and zoning and soundscape intervention.

1:00-1:30 pm Soundscape Examples (3 examples)

1:30-2:20 Soundscape Workshop-Charette (exercise/intervention based on the early walk) break outs 30 min, teams report 20 min (Total 50 min)

2:20-2:35 Advanced technology, future trends and possibilities

2:30 – 2:50 pm Review the results of 1st soundwalk, and data from other times of day.

2:50-3:00 pm Summary/ conclusions, feedback
Join us on December 08
We look forward to hosting you!

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