Sound surveying is, scientifically speaking, an open problem. Difficulties arise already at the seemingly abstract level of the mathematical model informing, shaping and modulating documentation instruments. Sound is a strong factor of spatial orientation, and all spatial information is codified in the very small time-scale, a scale often eluded by the instruments. We give an account of a number of surveys performed on a perceptual basis by teams in the historic district in Rome: we also rely the ongoing research about effective visualizations of shared perceptions. In a broader realm, our mathematical interest regards what we call “attention”. Among the psycho-acoustical phenomena we therefore underline those regarding the attention of the perceiver, as we think that they are quite promising for designers and planners, in order to be able consciously focus the aural attention of the public, just as traditionally it is done, quite consciously, to organize visual attention. On the other hand, we deeply hope that the interest and feedback of urban designers and planners will stimulate and appropriately modulate the course of this necessary research.