Pursuing our goal of collaborating with Edinburgh Living Landscapes and other partners to explore how soundscape data can support community engagement, education and citizen science and increase the value created by urban greenspace, we invited stakeholders and interested parties to an initial CitySounds Co-Design workshop on 9th January 2018.
We were excited to see interest from across a wide range of disciplines and organisations, with participation from Scottish Wildlife Trust, The University of Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh Council Biodiversity team, Friends of the Meadows and Bruntsfield Links (FOMBL), the Bat Conservation Trust, Greening Our Streets and New Media Scotland. It was a great event, full of ideas and enthusiasm. Here, we briefly mention the main topics of discussion.
We are planning to organise at least three community engagement events during the course of the project:
We spent the last section of the workshop discussing various ideas for these events.
These workshops will be an opportunity to communicate with the public about acoustic data and to engage their interest in data, IoT and urban greenspaces. We discussed:
How can Edinburgh Living Landscape, FOMBL, the CEC Biodiversity team, and other interested partners use acoustic data to create evidence and evaluate the impact of their work? We are hoping to continue the monitoring after March 2018 (i.e., beyond the period of funding from OrganiCity) — having 12 months of data or more would be valuable to us and to our partners.
FOMBL/Greening Our Street:Can the monitoring help identify ‘green tunnels’ through the city? This would be really valuable information for shaping future biodiversity initiatives.City of Edinburgh Council:Because it is time-consuming and expensive to collect biodiversity data, much of the information about sites across the city is out of date. It would be very useful if IoT technology could be used to get much more timely biodiversity data. Amongst other things, this would give evidence to support continued protection of those greenspaces.
We revisited plans for the end-of-project exhibition and event and considered whether to adapt or expand it. This event is intended to be both a response to the audio assets collected by project and simultaneously a way of engaging with the public. Martin Parker explained his original conception, where six speakers would each be controlled by a location-aware app on a phone, determining what, how and when sound comes out of the speaker. In addition, the speakers would be movable, and members of the audience could arrange and re-organise the soundscape within the physical exhibition space.
Ideas that we discussed included:
We are still working out the best processes and activities for our two data literacy workshops and the final sonic art exhibition, so watch out for further blog posts!