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Positive Sound Design in Urban Soundscapes – Chicago Tribune

This week, Chicago Tribune Architecture Critic, Blair Kamin and I had a good chat about the positive role of sound in the design and experience of urban spaces. While noise problems at O’Hare Airport and Wrigley Field gain attention, we focused ways that sound reduces stress and enhance. Instead of the negative role, I mentioned specific examples of places in Chicago where I, and other MSAE members, have led soundwalks within Millennium Park.

Blair Kamin wrote, “Sound can alleviate, as well as accentuate, stress. It can delight us as well as drive us crazy. Sound should be a part of the recipe for cooking up great cities. Yet concocting that recipe is as much art as science.”

Read Kamin’s article “Soundscape of the city is about more than decibels.”

Lurie Garden in Millennium Park

The Lurie Garden in Chicago’s Millennium Park has hedges that block street noise and allow for sounds of nature to be heard inside it. (Chris Walker / Chicago Tribune)