Media Invited to Explore Urban Acoustics with a “Sound Walk” of Nashville #ASA183

Listening to the sound of a city can create healthier living environments

Media Contact:
Ashley Piccone
AIP Media
301-209-3090
media@aip.org

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Dec. 1, 2022 – With constant traffic, construction, and large groups of people, cities are sometimes notoriously loud. This urban noise pollution can be harmful for residents and visitors, so it is essential to create healthy sonic environments wherever possible.

Credit: Jim Nix via flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

​Toward this end, the 183rd Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America will include an urban sound walk, in which media are invited to explore the Nashville area, its sounds, and efforts that have been taken to design projects that enhance the sonic environment and mitigate noise in the city in the process.

The sound walk will take place on December 8 from 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Central Time, beginning at the Civic Design Center. It is an outreach activity of the Acoustical Society of America and part of the meeting running December 5 to 9 at the Grand Hyatt Nashville Hotel. Registration for the sound walk is free, and more information can be found here. Participants should arrive by 10:00 a.m. to hear some short introductory information and make sure not to miss the walk.

Many cities around the world are reinvigorating their urban cores to make them more livable and sustainable as live, work, and play mixed-use communities. With these various uses and heterogeneous populations comes a plethora of activities such as outdoor dining and entertainment, active streetscapes alive with pedestrians and street performers, fitness centers, spas, night clubs, restaurants, and other recreational spaces in the middle of residential areas.

In the middle of all this activity and sound, some people in urban areas would like to experience quiet. Soundscape design is focused on addressing these situations while a building is designed or an urban plan is considered. It uses innovative acoustical measurement and analysis techniques, engages stakeholders in an equitable manner, and provides simulations of sounds. This process empowers the public to make informed decisions about the future of their environment.

Following the walk, ASA will host a “Smart Sound Planning for Cities” workshop from 11:15 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Central Time at the Civic Design Center. The course explains how the principles of soundscape design and planning can be used in to create sustainable, walkable, livable urban environments and help to create a culture of participation among the citizens. Urban design and planning can be used to reduce, buffer, or mitigate unwanted or potentially harmful noise; enhance and preserve desired sounds and sonic niches; and add new sounds to stimulate new activities in an urban setting. The workshop will cover emerging measurements, metrics, and design processes for modeling and simulating sounds in complex urban contexts. Methods for characterizing and mapping soundscapes, the health effects of noise, and effective methods to intervene in the soundscape will also be covered. Participants will learn how to speak with local experts to inform smart city sound planning.

Participants can join for the one-hour sound walk or the full five-hour intensive workshop. The former is an opportunity for media and anyone interested in urban soundscapes, while the latter is intended for city planners, architects, officials, and others whose work lies on the interface between sound and the community. However, all are welcome to the full workshop to learn more about modern management of sound in and around cities.

———————– MORE MEETING INFORMATION ———————–
Main meeting website: https://acousticalsociety.org/asa-meetings/
Technical program: https://eppro02.ativ.me/web/planner.php?id=ASAFALL22&proof=true

ASA PRESS ROOM
In the coming weeks, ASA’s Press Room will be updated with newsworthy stories and the press conference schedule at https://acoustics.org/asa-press-room/.

LAY LANGUAGE PAPERS
ASA will also share dozens of lay language papers about topics covered at the conference. Lay language papers are 300 to 500 word summaries of presentations written by scientists for a general audience. They will be accompanied by photos, audio, and video. Learn more at https://acoustics.org/lay-language-papers/.

PRESS REGISTRATION
ASA will grant free registration to credentialed and professional freelance journalists. If you are a reporter and would like to attend the meeting or virtual press conferences, contact AIP Media Services at media@aip.org.  For urgent requests, AIP staff can also help with setting up interviews and obtaining images, sound clips, or background information.

ABOUT THE ACOUSTICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA
The Acoustical Society of America (ASA) is the premier international scientific society in acoustics devoted to the science and technology of sound. Its 7,000 members worldwide represent a broad spectrum of the study of acoustics. ASA publications include The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (the world’s leading journal on acoustics), JASA Express Letters, Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics, Acoustics Today magazine, books, and standards on acoustics. The society also holds two major scientific meetings each year. See https://acousticalsociety.org/.

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