It is based on the conviction that human beings are touched and influenced to the core by what they hear. For this reason, Acoustic City is committed to promoting an acoustic environment appropriate for human beings.
With the Linz Charter as a guideline for urban planning in an acoustic sense, Beschallungsfrei —The Campaign Against Imposed Noise, and the Akustikon as a world of hearing in the centre of Linz, Acoustic City establishes three points of crystallisation for an increased acoustic awareness in the arrangement of personal life, in politics, in the world of work and everyday life, in architecture and urban development, in zoning, and traffic planning.
Acoustic City manifests itself from 29 November 2008 until “No Music Day” on 21 November 2009. After that, the Akustikon in Linz takes over advocacy for hearing. Acoustic City invites all companies, businesses and organisations renouncing piped music to declare all publicly accessible areas as Beschallungsfrei—free of piped music and imposed noise, by attaching the sticker Beschallungsfrei.
The City of Linz, the Province of Upper Austria and companies such as Thalia Books & Media are among the first to join this initiative. Acoustic City is being supported by personages such as alpinist Reinhold Messner, conductors Franz Welser‑Möst and Dennis Russell Davies, scientists Anton Zeilinger and Elmar Altvater, as well as musicians Heinrich Schiff, Hans Platzgumer and Rocko Schamoni.
Since November 29, 2008, Acoustic City provides a free space for the sense of hearing in the middle of the city: The Ruhepol‑Centralkino (Centre of Calm) is open to the public daily Tuesday through Sunday from 12 a.m. to 9 p.m., no admission charged. The former cinema in Land-straße 36—Linz' central shopping mile—invites everybody to take a rest and to experience silence in a non‑religious context.
Beschallungsfrei is an initiative of Linz 2009 European Capital of Culture, the Austrian Trade Union Federation ÖGB, the Union of Private Employees GPA‑djp, and the Catholic Church in Upper Austria/City Pastoral. Beschall-ungsfrei— The Campaign Against Imposed Noise is targeted against the massive presence of background music in the public sphere. Its aim is to raise awareness that unrequested environmental noise is not a matter of fact and therefore does not have to be accepted without complaint.
With the positive distinction of noise‑free spaces in the environment, the exemplary acoustic design of spaces, a long‑term engagement in schools and universities, and actions for the International Day Against Noise or No Music Day, for example, Linz 2009 communicates the freedom from imposed noise as a human right and an elementary component of the quality of life in a developed society.