Master 2019 2020
Stages de la spécialité SAR
Sounds in the City

Site : Sounds in the city & CIRMMT
Lieu : McGill University, Montreal, QC (Canada) and CIRMMT (Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media & Technology)
Encadrant : Prof. Catherine Guastavino
Dates :17/02/2019 - 17/08/2019
Rémunération :500CAD per month, for a total of 3,000 CAD for 6 months. Students are encouraged to apply for additional funding through the MITACS globalink program (
Mots-clés : Parcours ATIAM : Acoustique, Parcours ATIAM : Informatique musicale, Parcours ATIAM : Traitement du signal

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We are seeking 1 – 2 students to join us our Sounds in the City research partnership, working within our McGill-based research team on our downtown Montreal campus and at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Music Media and Technology (CIRMMT).

The research partnership Sounds in the City brings together researchers, professionals who shape our cities and citizens, to look at urban sound from a novel, resource-oriented perspective and nourish creative solutions to make cities sound better. Sound plays a critical and complex role in the way we experience urban spaces. Today, cities treat urban sound as “noise”, an isolated nuisance that should be mitigated when problems arise [1]. But sound can also support our well-being, orientation, focus, and our lasting memories of urban spaces - even the city as a whole (e.g. music, conversation, bird chirping, water sounds) [2-5]. Soundscape is a new user-centered proactive approach reframing sound as a resource, in relation to other urban design considerations, from early conception to long-term use [6-8]. It does away with the implicit assumption that all environmental sounds are negative. While soundscape has become well established in research, implementation in practice remains scarce [9]. Ultimately, every city user deserves to live, work, play and relax in sound environments they find appropriate. Realizing this goal involves accounting for user perspectives, their activities, and the contexts in which sounds are experienced, all of which has implications for how “city makers” plan and design urban spaces [10-11].

Our partnership, founded in 2016, engages the City of Montreal and the Province of Quebec on multiple projects about urban soundscapes. We will train the student(s) on all aspects of the research process, from engaging the literature, choosing research methods and designing research instruments, conducting statistical analyses, to writing publications and presenting. We are primarily seeking students to join us for our soundscape project in the Quartier des spectacles, where the bulk of Montreal’s famous outdoor, summer events take place. Students will assist with this multi-method project, including conducting research interviews and administering questionnaires, analyzing questionnaire data, conducting and analyzing field recordings, and surveying the literature on recreational noise. Students who are interested could also work with us on our other projects, including urban soundscape laboratory studies using Ambisonics reproduction, or other Montreal-based case studies such as park and restaurant soundscapes. Students will be matched on projects according to their capabilities and indicated preferences.

Students will work under the supervision of Prof. Catherine Guastavino in close collaboration with post-docs Daniel Steele and Edda Bild. Comprehension of English is a major asset in working with our team, and students should feel comfortable in a bilingual work environment.


[1] European Environment Agency (2010). Good practice guide on noise exposure and potential health effects, EEA Technical report No 11/2010, European Environment Agency, Copenhagen

[2] Steele, D., Bild, E., Tarlao, C., & Guastavino, C. (2019). Soundtracking the Public Space : Outcomes of the Musikiosk Soundscape Intervention. International journal of environmental research and public health, 16(10), 1865.

[3] Aletta, F., Lepore, F., Kostara-Konstantinou, E., Kang, J., & Astolfi, A. (2016). An experimental study on the influence of soundscapes on people’s behaviour in an open public space. Applied Sciences, 6(10), 276.

[4] Alvarsson, J. J., Wiens, S., & Nilsson, M. E. (2010). Stress recovery during exposure to nature sound and environmental noise. International journal of environmental research and public health, 7(3), 1036-1046.

[5] Payne, S. R. (2013). The production of a perceived restorativeness soundscape scale. Applied Acoustics, 74(2), 255-263

[6] Botteldooren, D. ; Andringa, T. ; Aspuru, I. ; Brown, L. ; Dubois, D. ; Guastavino, C. ; Lavandier, C. ; Nilsson, M. ; Preis, A. (2013) Soundscape for European Cities and Landscape : Understanding and Exchanging ; Soundscape-COST : Oxford, UK ; pp. 36–43.

[7] Botteldooren, D. ; Andringa, T. ; Aspuru, I. ; Brown, A.L. ; Dubois, D. ; Guastavino, C. ; Kang, J. ; Lavandier, C. ; Nilsson, M. ; Preis, A. (2015) From sonic environment to soundscape. Soundscape Built Environment, 36, 17–42.

[8] Kang, J., Aletta, F., Gjestland, T.T., Brown, L.A., Botteldooren, D., Schulte-Fortkamp, B., Lercher, P., van Kamp, I., Genuit, K., Fiebig, A. and Coelho, J.L.B. (2016). Ten questions on the soundscapes of the built environment. Building and Environment, 108, pp.284-294.

[9] Steele, D., Guastavino, C. (2017). Researching soundscape conceptualizations, contexts and information in urban planning and design practices through interviews. Association of European Schools of Planning (AESOP) Annual Congress, Lisbon, Portugal, July 11-17, 2017

[10] Bild, E., Coler, M., Pfeffer, K., & Bertolini, L. (2016). Considering sound in planning and designing public spaces : A review of theory and applications and a proposed framework for integrating research and practice. Journal of Planning Literature, 31(4), 419-434.

[11] De Coensel, B., Bockstael, A., Dekoninck, L., Botteldooren, D., Schulte-Fortkamp, B., Kang, J., & Nilsson, M. E. (2010). The soundscape approach for early stage urban planning : a case study. In INTER-NOISE and NOISE-CON Congress and Conference Proceedings (Vol. 2010, No. 8, pp. 3294-3303). Institute of Noise Control Engineering.