Bristol Soundwalks

Our monthly soundwalks are usually the 3rd Wednesday of the month from 12 pm to 1 pm

 

These events have an overarching aim to begin to engage in conversations with partners and the public about noise pollution (quiet, ambient, loud, damaging, and persistent) in the City of Bristol whilst contributing to the open data academic research Hush City led by Antonella Radicchi at Berlin TU.

 

We want to create a quiet map of Bristol linking with Bristol's Legible City project, with the potential to guide future use, development, and regeneration to positively impact the city's future health, people, and nature

*Please check Twitter account as sound walks are subject to weather conditions and meeting points may change

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Read about Bristol Sounds including our work so far in Bristol City of.... leaflet.  Thank you City of...!

www.bristolcityof.co.uk

 
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Quiet Spaces of Central Bristol

This map is from Hush City from over 250 citizen science soundwalks conducted in Bristol from 2017 to 2022.  This map is a snapshot of the key 7 perceived quiet spaces (daytime only) in central Bristol:

  1. Millenmum Promenade*

  2. Brandon Hill*

  3. Berkeley Square

  4. Royal Fort Gardens

  5. Queen Square (north west)

  6. Bristol Harbourside (west)

  7. College Green (south east)

*Millenmum Promenade and Brandon Hill are the only two spaces perceived to be very quiet and relaxing and under 40 dB

 

Explore more quiet spaces and places here: www.map.opensourcesoundscapes.org/view-area

These are some examples of soundscapes in the busy city centre of Bristol captures by citizen scientists

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Berkeley Square BS8

 

Hidden within off busy Park Street, the user reported a relaxing green square is of interest.  

Sounds of human voices and 'breeze through the tree' were comforting. A space that enables quiet conversation and relaxation.  There are distant sounds of cars and the low hum of ventilation; contracting to the noise of traffic on Park Street.

Berkeley Square is a Georgian square located to the west at the top of Park Street.  The surrounding area noise is buffeted by the tall stone buildings (around 6 to 7 storeys high), the quiet space is also contributed by the staggered vehicular entrance and access points. Visually attractive green space, wind through the trees distract you from more intrusive sounds.

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Millennium Promenade BS1

 

This relatively quiet spot is shielded by the surrounding architecture from most of the standard city sounds of almost constant road traffic and is a handy distance away from the bustle of people visiting local restaurants and bars. Further, a dense thick grassland absorbs most sound on Millennium Promenade, making the open space feel intimate, probably at any time of the day or year. 

 

Benches have also been placed here, inviting a passer-by to take a seat, have a think, a small bite to eat, or even finish off a piece of work, before then heading towards the Bristol Harbourside Lookout spot, or visiting further eateries at the jetty or towards Millennium Square.

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St Stephen Churchyard BS1

 

St Stephens graveyard garden offers a sound refuge against the busy and noisy environment of a city centre setting. Although the soundscape is dominated by traffic noise from Colston Avenue and the A38 to the west, the garden is shielded by the surrounding buildings, reducing the noise coming from these nearby road links.  

 The enclosed nature of the garden, surrounded by buildings, makes this a reverberant soundscape, with seagulls sounds and other birdsong particularly noticeable.

The visual landscape of this small green area next to the Grade I listed building of St Stephens Church makes it an attractive space for relaxation, even though the soundscape in isolation seems louder than one could expect.

A small café with an outdoor seating area adds character to the space and contributes to a vibrant soundscape during warmer seasons.

 

 

Why we do soundwalks

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In Europe, over 125 million people are affected by noise pollution from traffic every year. Noise pollution is the second most harmful environmental health risk in Western Europe, according to the World Health Organisation (2011). Along with the negative impact on our health, well-being and quality of life, noise pollution’s annual social cost us approximately in England is £7 to 10 billion (DEFRA, 2014)

 

Bristol is rapidly expanding; we need to retain, improve and create quiet routes and spaces within the city to protect and enhance the health of people and nature

Through raising public awareness of noise and health in the city through our soundwalks; we will then upload our data and findings (and encourage the public to continue to do the same) into the open source Hush City app collecting qualitative and quantitative data related to people’s favourite small, quiet spots in the city.

 

Who we are

We are a group of residents of Bristol who have a background in Acoustic Engineering, Urban Design and Landscape Architecture want to explore the quiet route and spaces of Bristol.  We are contributing as part of a citizen science programme, to the Hush City App , an international research open data research. We are also contributing to Bristol City Council's noise pollution data as part of Bristol's Legible City. 

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Hush City’s icon (C) Antonella Radicchi 2017

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      Sarah Jones-Morris 

Landscape Architect | Urbanist

An adopted Bristolian for the last 15 years, she runs a practice Landsmith Associates which focuses on people and nature-led landscape and urban design projects, processes and policy. Her particular expertise is in developing public health-led strategies, master plans and regeneration schemes. She wants to make cities healthier and quieter places to thrive and work in.

She has been invited to present at various conferences, including NHS Forest, Public Health England, Healthy City Week, and Landscape Institute. She also assisted in workshops held by the Architecture Centre ‘Shape my City’ programme.   She was the Chair of the Landscape Institute South West; in 2018, she was selected as Leading Women in Design by the Design Council.  Sarah is a Fellow of the Landscape Institute (FLI), a Design Council Expert, and a Master in Urban Design.  Sarah is a UK Ambassador of Hush City and founder of Bristol Soundwalks, and co-director of the Association of Collaborative Design.

Jameson Musyoki 

Acoustician

Jameson has a passion for sound, design and engineering and has approximately three years of acoustic consultancy experience at Stantec UK, across mainly the residential, commercial and infrastructure sectors. Jameson enjoys keeping up to date with current research on soundscape design for urban areas and intends to contribute to the research space. Jameson is an Associate Member of the Institute of Acoustics. Jameson's interest in sound walking stems from a yearning to explore and learn more about the perceived acoustic environment within Bristol as part of understanding how we can use holistic design methodologies to improve the well-being of citizens within urban areas. 

 

Victor Valeron

Acoustician

Victor is an acoustic consultant with over 15 years of experience in the UK and internationally. During this time, Victor has worked on hundreds of projects providing ‘good acoustic advice’ to public bodies and private developers to reduce environmental noise impact and improve buildings' acoustic conditions. Victor is a full member of the Institute of Acoustics (IOA), and some of his projects have been awarded by the Association of Noise Consultants (ANC).

Victor is passionate about the impact that positive soundscapes can have on people’s health and wellbeing and embraces soundwalks as a great tool to make the public aware of the importance of our sonic environment.

Antonella Radicchi

Urbanist | Researcher | Inventor of Hush City App

Dr Radicchi’s expertise encompasses cities, integrated urban design and planning, soundscape research, environmental noise and quiet areas, urban commons, qualitative research methods, participatory practices and tools, like soundwalks and the citizen science Hush City app.  Her ultimate goal is to make our cities quieter and healthier places to live in.


She is currently a senior researcher and a HEAD-Genuit Foundation fellow at TU Berlin Institute of City & Regional Planning, where she leads the Hush City Mobile Lab.

Radicchi is a registered architect, and she holds a PhD in Urban Design and Territorial Planning, with doctoral studies conducted at MIT (Cambridge, USA) and the University of Firenze (IT). Dr. 

 

 

Zoe Banks Gross

Sustainable Neighbourhoods | Activism | Environmentalist

After working as an environmental scientist for 15 years, Zoe shifted to working in the community sector five years ago. She’s passionate about social justice, health, and sustainability and how these intersect. Her work focuses on the grassroots level to empower people to take action about their home, street or neighbourhood. She also works closely with city and national partners to connect our programme to broader initiatives. She is the head of Partnerships and Public Affairs at Sustrans South of England and the non-executive director of Playing Out. 

 

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