The central square of Ypres, Source: on Flickr, CC BY 2.0

Music in the shopping streets of Ypres, a unique and consistent atmosphere

Music in the shopping streets of Ypres, a unique and consistent atmosphere

The city plans to reintroduce a sound system in central public spaces, however, this time it should be more compatible with residents' concerns

Today, authorities in Ypres, Belgium, announced that they want to bring back the sound system with loudspeakers for the city’s central shopping streets. The sound system plays music in the open public space contributing to a unique atmosphere.

However, in its previous iteration, the system created a lot of problems for residents. As the VRT reports, in real terms this meant that offices in the areas had to work with closed windows during the summer, because the music was too loud and created a distraction.

Nevertheless, a local association of business owners in the shopping streets have advocated bringing back the system. City officials, on their part, have said that the surround sound will be revamped this time, with consideration to local residents.

A nuisance and a benefit

According to city authorities, two years ago the sound system was turned off because it caused too much of a nuisance for local residents. Мany thought that the music was too loud and went so far as to sabotage the speakers themselves, including blocking the output or even cutting the wires.

At the same time, according to a survey, the sound system was very popular with the majority of citizens. This is why the city now wants to do it right – with an investment of 50,000 euros.

Another measure will be the arrangement of the speakers – further away from windows and always pointing down to mitigate the noise. Additionally, the speakers will be controlled through a central system as opposed to having individual controls on each street.

In the past, the fragmented approach has led to varying quality in the volume and musical selection throughout Ypres’ shopping district. Now, the themes will be unified and the variations streamlined.



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