Catalogue of Soundscape Intervention

Sustainable Urban Village


A sustainable urban village was planned for an area of Gainesville as part of the “Southwest 20th Avenue Transportation Design Proposal” by the School of Architecture, University of Florida. The proposal was submitted to the North Central Florida Regional Planning Council and the Metropolitan Transportation Planning Organization [3]. Soundscape research was carried out as part of the original site investigation and design process, in order to identify  problems and propose solutions. The location was near the University and had a lot of congested roadways surrounding a mixed land-use area of residential units, business establishments, and public services. Architects, planners, urban designers and transportation experts were all involved in the project. The goal was to build an integrated infrastructure solution and encourage sustainable urban growth [1].

Main zones of Urban Village [2].


The three types of architectural design interventions that were discussed in focus groups evolved into an “acoustical palette” that architects and urban designers employed when creating plans for the site. These can be divided into three types of action points, namely: (1) reduction or mitigation of noise and area buffering, (2) preservation and enhancement of site-specific, positively evaluated sounds and (3) addition of new acoustical elements [2]. More specifically, these interventions included:

Reduction, buffering or mitigation:

  1. Reduction or masking of noise sources
  2. Buffering of areas
  3. Mitigation of primary noise sources

Preservation and enhancement:

  1. Provision of distance and/or barriers
  2. Preservation/enhancement of zone activities on the site
  3. Arrangement of program activities
  4. Provision of acoustical or soundscape design concepts

Addition of new acoustical elements:

  1. Import of neutral or natural sounds
  2. Direction of sound flow from gathering spaces
  3. Design of quiet areas
  4. Import of specific sounds


[1] Payne, S. R., Davies, W. J., & Adams, M. D. (2009). Research into the practical and policy applications of soundscape concepts and techniques in urban areas.

[2] Siebein, G.W., Kwon, Y., Smitthakom, P. and Gold, M.A. (2006). Case study of soundscape assessment and design methods. In INTER-NOISE and NOISE-CON Congress and Conference Proceedings (Vol. 2006, No. 2, pp. 4418-4424). Institute of Noise Control

[3] University of Florida. (2005). Urban Village: Southwest 20th Avenue Transportation Design Proposal. Gainesville: University of Florida.

Entry submitted by: Xiaochao Chen