Monday, June 22, 2015

On the Radio

Welcome, CBC Radio listeners! Check out the topic tags and have a look around.

The Current host Piya Chattopadhyay and producer Acey Rowe put together a fine episode of their By Design series that turned attention to smell. It's called “Mapping urban smellscapes: Designing cities through scent”, and you can listen to it here.

Kate McLean and Daniele Quercia discuss their mapping of urban smellscapes, and Halifax Chief Planner Bob Bjerke talks about zoning stinky land use. Smell enthusiasts and lovers of liberty would do well to heed his warning about regulating urban smells: “Be careful what you wish for.” His town is notorious for its attempts to outlaw perfume.

Some other thoughts from listening to the broadcast:

Crowd-sourced smell maps with geo-tagged contributions are cool. But what about time-date tagging? How do the mappers distinguish static odors from transient, episodic ones? Is the smelly soul of a city in the occasional bursts or the steady background? Is San Francisco more typical at low tide or high?

Smell regulation is an open invitation to political abuse. Who could object to the smell of a bakery? Answer: activists who object to it using GMO wheat, that’s who.

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