Public spaces

Terrain 962, Avenue du Mont-Royal, Plateau-Montreal Borough

The Plateau-Mont-Royal borough is taking a very different approach to determining how a new public space is going to look and sound. Over the course of the summer of 2018, the borough installed 3 separate prototype designs and allowed the public to try and evaluate the site. Sounds in the City is evaluated the soundscapes created with each prototype and helped the borough shape the future space for users. Partners Audiotopie deployed sound installations in two of these three designs – both of these installations had positive effects on the perceived pleasantness, calmness, and ability to take a break in the soundscape, according to a questionnaire study.

In 2019, we updated the study with more installations from Audiotopie. Stay tuned for findings. Based on our findings, we will be furnishing recommendations to the city for the permanent design of this new public square.

Terrasses Roy

The Plateau-Mont-Royal borough pedestrianized a block of rue Roy for a citizen takeover. Sounds in the City worked with the borough to perform a soundscape study after the installation was put in place, and to provide subsequent recommendations.

Musikiosk

In 2015, researchers from McGill University and ÉTS worked together with the Plateau Mont-Royal borough to install Musikiosk, a soundscape intervention, in the gazebo of Parc du Portugal, a small public park in Montreal. Musikiosk was a system through which park users, with the help of an audio jack, could connect their personal devices to a small array of freely provided speakers installed in the gazebo and thus to share their own music with others. Musikiosk users expressed excitement in engaging with an urban park in novel ways by taking over their space acoustically and offering them an unconventional opportunity to interact with other park users. Through community outreach efforts and extensive planning, the Musikiosk team minimized the displacement of existing park users and managed the expectations and annoyance of neighbors. See our publications page for overviews of the main findings from this soundscape research project.