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Metropolis: Supercrowds for Multisensory Urban Simulations

Project coordinator(s)

Prof. Henry Rice
Tel: +353 1 896 1996

Research Student(s)

Francesco Pilla


In environmental applications the goal is to authentically predict the safety, environmental and aesthetic impact of planned designs. Increasingly, Ireland must meet stringent EU environmental requirements related to noise, vibration, and other issues. Most urban noise is traffic generated and the recent EU Environmental Noise directive actually forces urban conglomerations to prepare noise maps with specific emphasis on public dissemination. One major cause of poor planning practice in Ireland is lack of public engagement in the process.
Thus for example, land values adjacent to noise polluting roads can remain high or even be inflated, eventually resulting in inappropriate development. Initiatives on urban car usage control or developments like cycle or walkways often do not receive sufficient public support and can be relatively easily blocked by vested interests. Therefore, an integral dimension to the research will be the enablement of individuals to immerse themselves in simulations of new planning scenarios, on a variety of platforms. Mixing background noise generated from real traffic flow data with crowd sounds, accompanied by realistic visual simulation, is a groundbreaking innovation in the field of public consultation and Environmental Impact Surveys (EIS). The representative traffic and crowd group/size sounds will
be experimentally sampled. The background sound ambience will be created by appropriate mixing of these tracks incorporating weighting for appropriate traffic groups/sizes and remoteness for crowds as well as noise source composition and propagated volume levels for the traffic. These samples will be used in the assessment of spatial clustering techniques for 3D sound modelling.

Funding Body

Funded Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)

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