As a member of the ISO Soundscape standard committee since 2009, the NAS is helping to research and evidence these new acoustic measurement methods which will more accurately reflect what the listener hears. Soundscape will open up the possibilities of managing sound in a more positive way to benefit our communities.

Soundscape is the new measurement framework which aims to more accurately reflect the listener’s experience of the sounds that they hear in context. Soundscape management aims to treat noise as a resource rather than as waste in order to improve the acoustic environment in which we live.

Since 2009, NAS has worked proactively alongside a global group of acousticians, scientists, and expert practitioners within the ISO TC43/SC1/WG54 soundscape international standardisation committee as a technical member of the British Standards Institute to produce this new acoustics standard, published in September 2014 (BS ISO 12913-1:2014) and implemented into British Standards (BS 4142:2014).

Sounding Brighton is part of a series of pioneering pilot trials led by the NAS to show how proactive soundscape management can achieve community benefits. This NAS led initiative collaborates with local stakeholders and COST Action TD0804 and ISO Working Group 54 members to explore the use of soundscape approaches to help solve noise disturbances.

Future Sound Foundation (FSF) is NAS’ programme to foster research, mentoring, solutions and consultancy, by applying soundscape principles in practice. This year FSF has mentored young industrial designers at the Royal College of Art, resulting in the first ‘soundscape future car’ concept by Irene Chiu, supported by Bentley and Arup, and the upcoming MA degree project by Evan Reinhold (see their thought pieces).

FSF is also pioneering original soundscape research through the AHRC/CHASE Collaborative Doctoral Award in collaboration with Goldsmiths, awarded to Mattia Cobianchi (see Prof Drever’s thought piece); and the ESPRC funded Project DeStress: Designing and Engineering Soundscapes ‘To enable Restorative Environments for Sustainable Societies’, led by Dr Sarah Payne (see her thought piece), wherein I will research the application of soundscape in planning processes.

Other highlights of NAS’ soundscape programme, now named Future Sound Foundation (FSF), include: participating as a management committee member on the EU FP7 COST TD0804 programme on “Soundscapes of European Cities and Landscapes”; co-creating and leading several projects with Brighton and Hove City Council including the world’s first city-wide soundscape survey and the groundbreaking West Street Story and West Street Tunnel ASB and entertainment noise projects; being awarded an industrial fellowship with the University of Sheffield on applied “Soundscape in the Built Environment”; collaborative research partnerships with Goldsmiths, University of London and Heriot-Watt University; and a soundscape training programme currently being developed with University College London, the IOA and UKAN.


Our programmes help teach about managing noise footprints, improve awareness on the impacts of noise pollution and educate about career opportunities in acoustics.

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