5. Jonas Abrams

Strawberry Creek -
A Soundwalking experience

On the days of May 30th and 31st 2023, our class walked down from the Berkeley botanical gardens throught the hills and down into the UC Berkeley campus. While walking through the hills, rich creek sounds combined with the rustling trees and lively birds to create a beautiful natural soundscape, although the sounds of trucks on  nearby Centennial Drive could be heard in the background.

On the second day we met at the western edge of campus, where the creek begins to be culverted and walked through downtown Berkeley into central Berkeley ending where the creek had been daylit at Strawberry Creek park. 
Here the soundscape was much different, loud transient sounds of vehicles as well as the conversations taking place on the street. The ambient noise was much different, sounds would echo off of the large buildings, and the various sounds of the street would combine into a symphony of distinct sound vignettes. The lower density residential areas were somewhat of a middle ground between the preserved and urban spaces. However once the creek was daylit at strawberry creek the sounds were different once again. The soundscape was dominated by the sounds of conversations, spirited children, a band, and of course the persistant sound of the creek. Having an open space that fosters social gathering, outdoor time for children, and provides a habitat for local wildlife is a great feature of this neighborhood. It is also a testament to the fact that daylighting creeks is an effective method of revitalizing urban spaces and providing them with an invaluable communial space.