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Understanding the Soundscape of an Informal Markets: A Case Study of an Informal Markets in Proximity of Transit Nodes in Mumbai, India Ankita Bawankar Architect, Nagpur; India. Transit nodes act as ‘public magnets’ having the potential for interaction (of various activities and functions) and are open avenues for new developments around it. Especially in developing countries, these development instances, often, are not planned ones. They are spaces which emerge or sprout around the transit facility, because of the influence of the transit activity. These emerged spaces, mainly operated by the informal market and, over the course of time (these spaces) become an essential part of an urban landscape. Informal markets usually have varieties of sounds and urban noise, affecting people during daily life. For this reason understanding soundscape of such urban spaces aid in the improvement of the quality of urban life. The study of these spaces becomes vital because as per Indian statistics, nearly 65% of the urban population is employed in the informal sectors, which operate these spaces for their livelihood. The research paper deals with these spaces which have emerged in the proximity of transit nodes, in Mumbai, India as a case example. The soundscape of the identified case examples of informal markets is observed with sounds having positive and negative characteristics. These spaces are rated as most happening places in the city and having regional tourism value. However, the growing dominance of traffic noise of transit nodes is adversely affecting the positive characteristics of the soundscape of these emerged informal markets. The research is supported by on-site observations and surveys conducted to get feedback about the space, from the point of view of the users and the soundscape. The paper concludes with a summary of issues identified in the case examples and some improvement measures to manage soundscape or the acoustic quality of the identified informal markets. Keywords: Informal Markets, Mumbai, India, Quality of Life, Transit Nodes.
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