May 5, 2016


1) Radicchi, A. (2012), Sull’immagine sonora della città (On the Sonic Image of the City), Firenze University Press, Firenze.
This book stems from the doctoral research underwent by the author on the issue of “Sensuous Urbanism” and Soundscape Studies, with the ultimate goal of recovering a holistic and human scale approach to city sense and city design by means of the soundscape paradigm. The book also aims at introducing the soundscape approach into urban planning and offering a tool-kit of soundscape mapping and design tools, which can be applied by architects and urban designers and, eventually, integrated in acoustic planning processes. The book is organized in two parts: the first one inspects both the disciplinary fields of “Sensuous Urbanism” and Soundscape Studies, from an historical perspective. The second part is dedicated to a critical review of tools currently applied in acoustic planning (e.g. noise maps, noise action plans), and to the proposition of qualitative tools, such as participative sound maps and the “sonic niche”, which could be crucial in achieving a more comprehensive understanding of the sonic environment. Two case studies, developed by the author, support the conclusion. The first one is the tender Sound Map of Firenze: a participative sound map, which investigates the Florentine soundscape through the lens of people’s emotions. The second one is the Soundscapes Oltrarno project, in which the soundscape approach is applied to renovate the neighborhood by implementing digital placemaking and participative tools, such as the “sonic niches”.
* This publication was awarded the 2012 City of Firenze Research Award and the 2010 National Institute of Urbanism Best Dissertation Award.
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2) Radicchi, A., Signorelli, V., (2014), “Soundmaps, quiet areas and noise control strategies/ Mappature sonore, aree di quiete e strategie di controllo del rumore” in Urbanistica, 154/2014, pp.131-136, INU Edizioni, Roma.
This essay deals with the issue of noise pollution and quiet areas in contemporary cities and makes a critical survey of the current environmental noise regulations, highlighting the limits embedded into the quantitative approach and tools adopted by the traditional acoustic planning. It also describes a qualitative approach to the planning of urban quiet areas, based on the integration of participative “sound maps”, which have been proved to be effective tools for the representation of the qualitative aspects of the city realm. In conclusion, the authors propose to introduce sound maps into the acoustic planning’s tools kit in order to provide a balanced amount of quantitative and qualitative data for the description of urban soundscapes, and to fill the gap between the real sonic experience of places and its representation produced by means of “noise maps”.
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3) Radicchi, A. (2017), “Beyond the Noise: Open Source Soundscapes. A mixed methodology to analyse, evaluate and plan “everyday” quiet areas” in Acoustical Society of America’s Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics. (Accepted August 2017)
Today, cities have become increasingly noisier. In Europe, over 125 million people are affected by noise pollution from traffic every year, and apparently, quietness is becoming a luxury available only for the elites. There is a growing interest in protecting and planning quiet areas, which has been recognized as a valid tool to reduce noise pollution. However, developing a common methodology to define and plan quiet areas in cities is still challenging. The “Beyond the Noise: Open Source Soundscapes” project aims to fill this gap of knowledge by applying the soundscape approach, the citizen science paradigm and open source technology, with the ultimate goal of making quietness as a commons. Accordingly, a new mixed methodology to analyse and plan small, quiet areas on the local scale has been tested through the development of a pilot study in a Berlin neighborhood affected by environmental injustice and noise pollution. In this pilot study, a number of citizens have been involved in crowdsourcing data related to “everyday quiet areas” by using novel mobile technologies. This contribution illustrates the project’s theoretical background, the methods applied, the first findings of the study and its potential impact.
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4) Radicchi, A. (2017), “The HUSH CITY app. A new mobile application to crowdsource and assess “everyday quiet areas” in cities.” in Invisible Places. Proceedings of the International Conference on Sound, Urbanism and the Sense of Place. (In press, expected Fall 2017)
This paper presents the Hush City app: a new mobile application to crowdsource and evaluate quietness in cities, by combining the soundscape approach and the citizen science paradigm. Hush City app has been developed by the author in the frame of the “Beyond the Noise: Open Source Soundscapes” project. First, the theoretical framework is introduced, followed by a description of the Hush City app’s concept, technology and advancement on the state of the art. To conclude, first results are discussed and future work outlined.
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5) Radicchi, A. (2017), “A Pocket Guide to Soundwalking” in Perspectives on urban economics, edited by Besecke et al., 70-73, Berlin: Universitätsverlag der TU Berlin.
In the words of Hildegard Westerkamp – the German-Canadian composer and musician who, since the Sixties, has contributed to the definition and spread of soundwalking – a soundwalk is “any excursion whose main purpose is listening to the environment”. Soundwalks have a rather long history with a consistent body of literature and examples of practices, especially in the field of sound studies and acoustic ecology, where they have been used as educational tools for enhancing sonic awareness and listening skills among citizens. However, especially in the past decade, they have been performed also as methods of inquiry in urban planning and soundscape research projects, in the form of solo and group soundwalks. Against this background, this contribution aims to trace a short history of soundwalking, and to outline state of the art methods and tools applied in soundwalking so far. Special attention will be given to practices developed in the field of urban planning and soundscape research, to confirm soundwalk as a valid, multifaceted tool in the understanding of the city realm and its perception by citizens and city users.
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