SONORUS - Training Urban Sound Planners by Education and Research
Paper in proceedings, 2014
It is agreed by all involved in planning and designing urban areas that the visual appearance of cit- ies crucially determines the sense of living there and thus needs careful planning efforts. In con- trast to this, the acoustic appearance, i.e. the sound of urban areas has not been able to attract comparable planning efforts yet. Regardless whether this is seen as a consequence of insufficient predictability or of underrated relevance of sounds, it regularly ends up with involving acousti- cians and sound planners too late, thus making efficient sound planning and design unnecessarily difficult or even impossible.
The dimension of this lack can be illustrated by imagining the contrary vision. We might have an implementable plan how an area would sound in the future, avoiding bad surprises and assuring efficient use of resources. We could protect restorative areas for the people’s well-being and we could avoid hot spots where otherwise we had to cope with unhealthy noise exposure afterwards. Today we are far from this vision and the normal situation is that we are happy if we can manage the most relevant problems.
The Urban Sound Planner project SONORUS is an integrated training network (ITN) financed by the EC for a period of four years and coordinated by Chalmers University of Gothenburg in Swe- den. Nine partners from all over Europe participate in this training network to educate 14 young researchers in urban sound planning. At the end we hope to have young people who master the whole range of tools from proven noise control technologies to soundscape approaches. However, to make an impact, they also have to understand city planning and possess very good skills in team building and communication. During their education they will have the opportunity to train theses skills on test sites in Antwerp, Brighton, Gothenburg, Rome and Rotterdam.