Amsterdam Sounds: noise in the city

How do you experience sound in your neighbourhood: the café around the corner, your neighbours or the nearby traffic? Or are you curious about the noise level you are exposed to during a festival? During this workshop we research noise and noise pollution, explore measuring strategies and use sensors to measure noise. Together we map sound in the city to then explore solutions and the possibilities of setting up a citizens’ measuring network.

Sound is everywhere, but how can you map sounds and noise pollution in the city? In this workshop we explore new measuring strategies and several sensors to measure noise levels; from high-tech to simple DIY solutions. We conduct a small field experiment; measuring noise ourselves in the centre of Amsterdam, collecting data and interpreting it. A noise expert will explain everything about the technical details of sound, sensors and how to interpret data.

We finish the evening by discussing the experience of noise pollution by residents of our city and the potential of citizens’ measuring network. The experience with “citizen science” strategies that Waag gained over the past few years in the Amsterdam Smart Citizen Lab will be taken into consideration.

Entrance is free. Both English and Dutch will be spoken at this event.


  • 18:45 Doors open
  • 19:00 Amsterdam Sounds & Smart Citizen Lab introduction.
  • 19:15 How do we measure sound? - by Arnaud Kok
  • 19:30 Measuring sounds with sensors
  • 20:30 Q&A municipality and citizens
  • 21:30 End

About Amsterdam Sounds

Together with Ombudsman Metropool Waag explores new solutions for the issue of noise pollution and the possibilities of setting up a citizens’ measuring network. Noise effects the quality of the living environment and enjoyment of many Amsterdammers. According to Ombudsman Metropool Amsterdam, noise pollution is the greatest source of complaints. The policy in Amsterdam is currently focused on measures noise caused by traffic but not on any other forms of noise pollution. This resulted in this research on new strategies.

About the Smart Citizens Lab

The Smart Citizens Lab programme series consists of workshops, presentations and design sessions aimed at improving and mapping our living environment. What kind of world do we want to live in and what role can technology play in this? We explore solutions that we can influence ourselves. Together, we develop do-it-yourself (or do-it-together) solutions and creative interventions. There is room to experiment, to learn, and to explore what we want and how we can achieve it.


Waag, Nieuwmarkt 4, 1012 CR Amsterdam