What Does the Livable City Sound Like? Analyzing Public Communication in Vancouver, Canada





content analysis; discourse analysis; media/mass media; cultural studies; policy; globalization; political communication; newspapers / analyse de contenu; analyse du discours; les medias; études culturelles; mon- dialisation; communication politique; journaux


Background: Livability has suffered from lack of engagement with the sensory aspects of urban life.

Analysis: This article offers a content and discourse analysis of the keywords sound, noise, and livability found in two types of public communication streams in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada: local news media and public city planning documents.

Conclusion and implications: The analysis finds a critical missing link between neoliberal discourses on “livability” and considerations of sound and noise as important aspects of the urban experience. We suggest ways in which public discourses shape this gap, and how public communication on sound can inform richer considerations of urban livability.

Contexte :
L’habitabilité a souffert du manque d’engagement avec les aspects sensoriels de la vie urbaine.

Analyse : Cet article propose une analyse du contenu et du discours des mots-clés son, bruit et qualité de vie trouvés dans deux types de flux de communication publique à Vancouver, en Colombie-Britannique, au Canada : les médias d’information locaux et les documents d’urbanisme publics.

Conclusion et implications : L’analyse trouve un chaînon manquant critique entre les discours néolibéraux sur la « habitabilité » et les considérations sur le son et le bruit en tant qu’aspects importants de l’expérience urbaine. Nous suggérons des façons dont les discours publics façonnent cet écart et comment la communication publique sur le son peut éclairer des considérations plus riches sur l’habitabilité urbaine.

Author Biographies

Milena Droumeva, Simon Fraser University

Dr. Milena Droumeva is an Assistant Professor of Communication and Glenfraser Endowed professor in Sound Studies at Simon Fraser University specializing in mobile technologies, sound studies and multimodal ethnography, with a long-standing interest in game cultures and gender. Milena is co-editor of a newly published edited collection “Sound, Media, Ecology” with Palgrave Macmillan which updates practices and theories of acoustic ecology through the work of contemporary researchers.

Stacey Copeland, Simon Fraser University

Stacey Copeland is a media producer and Joseph-Armand Bombardier (CGS) Ph.D. candidate at Simon Fraser University’s School of Communication in Vancouver, Canada. She received her Master of Arts from the Ryerson York joint Communication and Culture graduate program where she studied radio production, sound studies, media culture and gender studies. She is currently the podcast project manager for the SSHRC-funded partnership SpokenWeb and supervising producer of the Amplify Podcast Network.

Brett Ashleigh, Simon Fraser University

Brett Ashleigh is pursuing a Ph.D. in Communication studies from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada, specializing in Sound Studies. Experience in sound runs the gamut from recording audiobooks for the Library of Congress to supervising a post-production team for film. She loves the process of bringing life to creative works through sound and being a supportive part of a collaborative project. Current research interests are the sonic dimensions of gender-based inequity, and sound as a potential tool of social justice.