On a quest for quiet? Check out ‘Stereopublic’ – your urban guide to silence

Ever found yourself craving a moment of quiet in a city full of noise? In our frenetic, technologically driven world it can often be difficult to find space away from the hubbub for quiet contemplation.

At Ministry of Calm I’ve long been championing calm by helping to create peaceful and uplifting environments for people to live, work and play in. That’s why we’re really excited about ‘Stereopublic’, an ingenious TED Prize-winning City 2.0 project that enables members of the public to go out into their cities and locate and share their favorite tranquil spaces through a simple iphone app.

The Stereopublic app allows you to take audio and visual snapshots, experience audio walking tours to discover quiet spaces in your city and even select original soundtracks composed for each space.

Devised by Australian Composer and Sound Artist Jason Sweeney, assisted by his partners, sound artist Emma Quayle and TED speaker Julian Treasure, Stereopublic have now launched customized versions of the app for locations as diverse as Sydney, Edinburgh and Brussels – with plans afoot to cover further cities across the globe.

As well as raising awareness of the importance of noise free spaces, Stereopublic’s “quiet revolution” is hoped to inspire a greater sense of wellbeing amongst city dwellers. The Stereopublic team describe the app as “a sonic health service for built environments,” and suggest that quiet actually creates more vital communities. Having experienced first hand the beneficial impact that quiet, contemplative spaces can have on people from all walks of life we couldn’t agree more …

According to a whitepaper by Biamp Systems and The Sound Agency (chaired by Julian Treasure who gave the TED2009 talk “The 4 Ways Sounds Affects Us”), the estimated cost of noise pollution in Europe alone is $30.8 billion. Perhaps even more shockingly, the report found that every 365 days, one million years are taken off European’s collective life expectancy – averaging a day per person.

Calm is the antidote to the stresses and strains we often feel in today’s hectic society. Calm is that stillness at the centre of our being when we let go of doing ‘stuff’ and focus on just ‘being’ who we truly are. In a nutshell; calm is cool. And we believe passionately that the world needs more of it!

On your own quest for calm? Join us in supporting the Stereopublic Project. To get involved, e-mail stereopublic@soundslikesweeney.com.

* Image courtesy of Bob Vonderau, Vonderau Visuals


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