Today was our first day doing designs for our project in Westpark, a park and a former industrial area in Bochum.
The post industrial landscape
St. John’s Wort and Butterfly Bush
Yesterday, was the trip site visit where we walked around and observed the existing conditions of the landscape. We met Dr. Bryce Lawrence a soundscape ecologist who led us throughout the site and explained to us different topics related to sound and noise in the environment.
At the site we took sound samples of the entire site, 10 samples per group, to study the different sonotopes of the site. We would later turn that data into a maps to help us visualize the information. We listened for sounds that were anthrophonic- human created, geophonic- earth created, or biophonic- animal created.
The site is a former coal mine and coking plant and was transformed into a recreational park in 1997. The park itself has limited access for the surrounding communities and no pronounced entrances. One of the main focuses in design is to create an area that will be a clear entrance way to welcome community members in to the site. Our designs will also have a focus on soundscape ecology and incorporate elements to mitigate unpleasant frequencies and sounds from existing industry and railroads.
Data from our sound samples revealed areas of higher pressure (louder sounds) and lower pressure (quieter sounds). From this information we can pick and choose what kind of design elements we want to use to mitigate loud sounds.
Some of my design ideas include:
- A revised pathway system through the park that varies in height to allow different types of views of the ecological neighborhoods
- Adding shade trees and plantings to increase biological diversity
- Adding shade structures and sound walls to block sounds
Tomorrow will be another site visit to take a closer look at the ecology of the landscape.