Absorb the Noise!

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Absorb the Noise aims to create interactive public green space along transit corridors: a living and working example of the role of greenery in urban sound absorption. Imagine a condensed and scalable outdoor classroom and gathering space under the SkyTrain tracks, filled with conversations on the future of our city. These spaces will feature native plant species and interactive learning.

School:

SFU

Department:

Faculty of Environment -Department of Geography

Course:

Geography of Transportation (GEOG 324)

Instructors:

  • Leanne Roderick

City of Vancouver:

  • Chris Higgins

Student Team:

  • Valentijn Helmus
  • Vaidehi Gupta
  • Eleanor Payumo

Strategy:

  • Climate Emergency Action Plan

Term:

Spring 2023

Summary

Absorb the Noise aims to create interactive public green spaces along transit corridors as living and working examples of the role of greenery in urban sound absorption. Our initial focus is below the SkyTrain between Commercial Drive and Nanaimo Stations. We envision this site as a blueprint for Absorb the Noise greenspaces along transit corridors across Vancouver.

Densely planted greenery can help immensely with urban sound pollution, such as the squealing SkyTrain tracks. In order to facilitate sound absorption while also creating space for community, we have three recommendations: add a variety of vegetation and green walls along the walkway, create new public gathering spaces, and increase community engagement through interactive learning and infographics.

We want these spaces to be outdoor classrooms for all ages to meet, learn, and imagine what the future of our city will look and sound like. Visually intriguing infographic posters will be featured as a key part of the space, highlighting how plants work to absorb surrounding sounds. Creating a public space that is equitable and accessible is at the core of our project, so, to make these spaces accessible as learning and sharing spaces, these posters will feature multiple languages and be highly visual in communication. This way, Absorb the Noise spaces will be open to diverse and multigenerational communities to enjoy.

Absorb the Noise! spaces will focus on native plant species to create dense greenery that is effective at noise absorption while also playing a vital role in environmental restoration. Our project works in conjunction with current city projects such as Vancouver’s 2040 regional plan, the Vancouver Biodiversity Strategy, the Walk, Bike, Roll initiative, and the Van Play 25-year goal. Through our project, we aim to ultimately start conversations on the future of our electric city with residents.

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