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Ecology of sound: The sonic order of urban space

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Atkinson, RG (2007) Ecology of sound: The sonic order of urban space. Urban Studies, 44 (10). pp. 1905-1917. ISSN 0042-0980

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Abstract

Sound provides an often-ignored element of our conceptualisation of the urban fabric.
The power of music, sound and noise to denote place and demarcate space is used here to develop
the idea of a sonic ecology. The paper attempts to map the relative order of this unseen city and to
theorise its spatial and temporal patterning. The sonic ecology, a relatively persistent and
chronologically ordered quality to sound in urban space, is used as a means of examining the
distribution of sound and to weigh the broader social impact of these qualities. The ambient
soundscape of the street is made up of a shifting aural terrain, a resonant metropolitan fabric,
which may exclude or subtly guide us in our experience of the city, thus highlighting an invisible
yet highly affecting and socially relevant area of urban enquiry.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Sound, noise, Cities, Urban ecology
Journal or Publication Title: Urban Studies
Page Range: pp. 1905-1917
ISSN: 0042-0980
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1080/00420980701471901
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2007
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:22
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