Innovation That Matters

Crowdsourcing the sounds of cities' quiet spots

Work & Lifestyle

Stereopublic is a new project that hopes to map the quiet areas of urban environments, recruiting citizens to collect the sounds of those spaces.

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Finding a place in the city to collect your thoughts and enjoy some quietude is a rare thing. While startups such as Breather are set to open up private spaces for work and relaxation in several US cities, a new project called Stereopublic is hoping to map the ones already there, recruiting citizens to collect the sounds of those spaces.

Participants can download the free iOS app created by design studio Freerange Future, which enables them to become an ‘earwitness’. When they discover a tranquil spot in their city, they can use their GPS co-ordinates to record its exact location on the Stereopublic map, as well as record a 30-second sound clip and take a photo to give others a better idea of what it’s like. The team then works with sound experts to create quiet tours of each participating city, which currently includes Adelaide, London, LA, New York City, Singapore and 26 other global cities. The video below offers some more information about the project:

Stereopublic won a USD 10,000 TEDPrize City 2.0 award in 2012 and showcased the app at the Adelaide Festival this year. The app is helping to create unique record of different times and places, and is an example of using tech to get users to stop and appreciate the physical environments they live in. Could you help your city to get involved?

Spotted by Murray Orange, written by Springwise



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