Sound and Silence in the City

(Photo from @billydimirra)

As a girl who grew up in the country and lived on small liberal arts campuses through her college years, moving into the city, even a friendly and spread out one like Colorado Springs, was an adjustment. Knowing the wildness of those mountains is only a few minutes away helps calm the nerves, but during the everyday moments leaving for work or buying groceries, sometimes the constant activity and business can leave you exhausted.

Cities are hustling and bustling places. It’s exciting and energetic and active. Colorado Springs has a lot to experience and hear and see. But sometimes you need a quiet moment. How do you steal a moment of peace living in the city? 

Jason Sweeny gave a Ted Talk on this very thing. He knew he needed quiet places and knew they existed in the city - it was just a matter of finding them. So he started Stereopublic: Crowdsourcing the Quiet, a way of mapping and recording the buffer places in the cities of Australia. He found a city map, used colors to mark the mood of the place he’d found, and colored a circle around an alleyway, a fountain, a park bench. Then he’d record the sounds of the place on his phone. 

Colorado Springs is a pretty buffered city. We have trees in our medians and fields to drive by. Little creeks and many parks. And of course the mountains are only a short drive away. But I wonder what it would be like to be attentive to the soundscape of the places we go in our city? To fully experience and appreciate and pay attention to the place we live and how they make us feel. 

I think that noticing the differences in our city is part of how we learn to value and love it more deeply.

There are a variety of people, landscapes, dwelling places, activities, food.  Be intentional to pay attention. Be present where you are. Notice your city. I think you’ll find your life in Colorado Springs more rich for it. 

While the Stereopublic app is no longer available, My Colorado Springs would love to hear about your favorite places in the city and why they’re your favorite! Quiet or loud, flat or hilly, inside or out of doors, we rely on YOU to be our local guides. Let’s map out the best places together! Comment, tag, or email us to share! (Email us at and tag using our hashtag #my_cosprings on Instagram!)

Your neighbor,


My Colorado Springs is a local guide to celebrate, explore, and help you discover the treasures of our city.