Author

Chao LiFollow

Date of Award

Spring 5-30-2020

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)

Department

Landscape Architecture

First Advisor

Johanna Barthmaier-Payne

Second Advisor

Michael Blier

Third Advisor

Claire Fellman

Abstract

This proposal aims to draw people’s attention to our surrounding acoustic environment and shift people’s awareness from “hearing” to “listening”. In urban areas, to enrich our living experiences, people choose to get rid of the noisy environments. I believe landscape architecture always has the power to connect human’s different senses with our environment. As the most dynamic and abstract phenomenon, sound has the potential to guide landscape spatial design and modify our ecological system. The investigation focuses on 42nd Street as a primary study area which is historically one of the most iconic streets in the midtown of Manhattan, connecting the Hudson River and East River. As a witness of Manhattan’s history, 42nd street combines historical urban fabric and innovative ground. Different types of space along 42nd Street create rich ecological and cultural soundscapes. These spaces include the green spaces of Tudor City Green, Bryant Park, Hudson River Waterfront and the vibrant human realm of Times Square and Grand Central Station. They work well together but the balance between them is losing ground since humans take the main role in the environment. This project strategically turned the issues of noise into opportunities for social and cultural improvement and works to rebuild an urban ecology by rethinking the relationship between sound and environment and between sound and perception. The study of the dynamic relationship between sound, city, people and wildlife can produce a flexible strategy that provides suitable habitats, public realms, cultural programs.

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