Interfaculty symposium - Listen Here Now! A Participatory Soundscape Approach to Biodiversity and Well-Being in the City
|Mo 09-01-2023 13:00 - 18:00
|USVA (Munnikeholm 10, Groningen)
The Listen Here Now! Soundscapes interfaculty research team is pleased to invite you to our first Sustainable Society (Agricola School for Sustainable Development) and Strategy, Education and Research Interfaculty Grants supported symposium on the theme of participatory Soundscapes, biodiversity and well-being in Groningen. This project proposes to study soundscapes in Groningen in an interdisciplinary context to assess how transformations of the urban environment impact both humans and non-humans through special attention to the sonic. Given the challenges presented by urbanization, our study proposes to develop the first interdisciplinary framework to measure soundscapes in relation to three inter-related criteria: biodiversity, place attachment, and environmental well-being.
The symposium takes place from 13:00 to 18:00 on January 9th, 2023 with a keynote lecture by Dr. Antonella Radicchi from Birmingham University, entitled Beyond the Noise: Open Source Soundscapes. During the symposium we provide short workshops and presentations on our research. We will also lead you through a soundwalk in Groningen following mini lectures on birdsong in the city. We’ll also learn about the nature of Groningen’s soundscapes through spectogram analysis with experts from Sound Appraisal. Finally, with students and guest composers/producers, we will provide short artistic musical performances and presentations in relation to our collected recordings to date.
13:00 - Workshop on hearing urban soundscapes (Kristin McGee/members of team)
13:15 - Soundwalk led by Students and team leaders
14:00 - Presentation by Mirjam Borger & Xia Zhanon birdsong and urban noise
14:30 - Description on project methods and results of recording analysesso far
(Kristin McGee/Jan Komdeur/Bettina van Hoven)
15:15 - Presentation by Merel Ursem of Sound Appraisal on urban soundscapes and analysis of recordings
15:45 –Keynote lecture Dr. Antonella Radicchi: Beyond the Noise: Open Source Soundscapes
16:30 - Performances and recordings by Andert Tijsma, Kristin McGee and students (interacting performing & works made from/with recordings)
17:00 - Drinks
Dr Antonella Radicchi holds a BA and MA in Architecture with honours and a PhD in Urban Design and Territorial Planning (University of Firenze, Italy) with doctoral studies conducted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA) as a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholar. She is a Licensed Architect (Board of Architects, Firenze, Italy).
In 2022, she joined Birmingham City University. She is currently a Senior Lecturer in Urban Planning and Sustainability in the Department for the Built Environment, where she leads the MA Planning Built Environments Course and several Modules (Placemaking, Individual Master’s Project, Digital Cities). From 2016 to 2022, she worked at the Technical University of Berlin (Germany) as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow, a HEAD-Genuit Foundation Research Fellow and a Senior Research Associate. In 2019 she was visiting HEAD-Genuit Foundation Research Fellow at the New York University (USA). From 2020 to 2022, she was a Senior Research Associate at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, where she managed the Horizon2020 European Citizen Science project. Beyond academia, she has been committed to scientific outreach to raise public awareness on environmental sustainability issues by conducting invited public soundwalks and workshops internationally. She is also the Inventor and Principal Investigator of Hush City, a mobile and web-based app that empowers people to identify and assess quiet areas in cities as to create an open access, web-based map of quiet areas, with the potential of orientating plans and policies for healthier living, in response to issues framed by environmental noise policies.
About the project
This project proposes to study soundscapes in Groningen in an interdisciplinary context to assess how transformations of the urban environment impact both humans and non-humans through special attention to the sonic. Given the challenges presented by urbanization, our study proposes to develop the first interdisciplinary framework to measure soundscapes in relation to three inter-related criteria: biodiversity, place attachment, and environmental well-being. To make these connections, this project focuses on measuring and comparing soundscapes from different local area types (e.g. residential/industrial…) to assess how contrasting sound environments differently impact biodiversity, place attachment, and well-being in these areas. These comparisons will later serve as the basis for discussions with urban and spatial planners aiming to enhance the city’s soundscape for optimal health and liveability.
This one-year project is further designed to explore new interdisciplinary methods in a participatory process with students from our various faculties and with local citizens through citizen science approaches. Our backgrounds in the fields of acoustics, spatial planning, cultural geography, urban heritage, ecology, and music performance enables us to combine different approaches for the common objective of raising ecological awareness of biodiversity, increasing attachment to place, and working to develop urban policy to stimulate sonically healthy, biodiverse cities.
In particular, this project maps the soundscapes of several locations throughout the year. Our first goal is to develop new methods to measure in what ways the soundscape of Groningen’s different areas reflect the relative biodiversity, health, and liveability through both quantitative and qualitative approaches. Our second aim is to engage both students and local citizens in this research by inviting them to record, discuss, assess, and interact creatively with their own soundscapes within the context of a participatory data gathering and sonic/spatial planning process.
The project is funded jointly and generously by the Sustainable Society (Agricola School for Sustainable Development) and Strategy, Education and Research Interfaculty Grants for which we are very grateful.