Special Reports

Last updated: 1 july, 2009 - 14:07 GMT

Save Our Sounds documentaries

Join the Discovery team on their journey to explore soundscapes. Why are sounds that we take for granted slowly disappearing?

The two documentaries are presented by acoustic engineer Professor Trevor Cox. Each programme features a range of experts including architects, urban planners, environmental scientists and social scientists - all concerned with acoustic ecology in the urban soundscape.

Trevor Cox

Trevor Cox

In the first programme, Trevor Cox joins a soundwalk in central London and explores the world of acoustic ecology.

Trevor meets artists and city planners to discuss how sound influences our lives and affects our well being.

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Are cities getting noisier or is it just that we're losing the quieter places we once had – the back streets and urban squares where citizens can go for a respite from the wall of noise? How has the soundscape in London changed and what sounds are in danger of being lost in the future?

In the second programme, Trevor Cox travels to one of the most densely populated and noisiest cities in the world, Hong Kong.

Wet Market, Hong Kong

The Wet Market in Central, Hong Kong

He meets engineers tackling dangerous levels of noise pollution and artists highlighting the importance of preserving endangered soundscapes in a city where progress is the mantra.

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Trevor also meets UK scientists from the Positive Soundscape Project trying to shift the focus from managing noise in cities to incorporating the sounds that the public really want to hear in the urban environment, be it birdsong, buskers or even barking dogs!

The documentaries examine the impact of sound on people's lives, and question whether some noises, from street markets to bells and street hawkers, are actually at risk of disappearing. Some of which are distinct sounds connecting a city to its heritage and people.

Programme one first broadcast on Wednesday 8 July 2009

Programme two first broadcast on Wednesday 15 July 2009

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