Great efforts and progress have been made in terms of noise protection measures in both urban, suburban and rural environments. Local or regional urban planning guidelines and anti-noise-manuals provide experienced and practical advice to reduce noise, in order to provide a better quality of life. Most of the anticipated solutions such as noise-protection-walls, fences, planted mounds etc. will address issues caused by land traffic. However, due to their nature, they fail to respond to "airborne" noise immission. In addition, there is a common public misconception that sound should be interpreted as noise ie. as a waste to get rid of, instead of critically identifying sound and sound clusters as a potential and as a resource to be integrated. The concept of the sound-absorbing city applies the same principles of sound reflection and sound absorption, as applied to an architectural space, in an urban space. It also investigates the possibility of combining unwanted sound, such as air traffic noise with wanted sound, such as nature and community sound. The paper discusses the concept of the sound-absorbing city, its potentials and its apparent limits, with regard to new settlements and existing agglomerations around airports.