For the past year, as a part of my dissertation research as a doctoral candidate at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, I have been measuring sound levels and conducting the Greater Boston (now National) Neighborhood Noise Survey within the Greater Boston Area. In addition to finishing up my dissertation, it was very important for me to update the community on key findings from my research.
But, I didn’t want just any kind of update. I wanted to push the envelope. This is the first comprehensive noise assessment of the Greater Boston Community since 1971 and I wanted to take this opportunity to present a new way of looking at noise. In particular, I wanted the report to be tangible, meaning, I wanted it to be accessible, interactive, visual, aural, and most importantly, useful.
- Sound Mapping:Interactive and static maps detailing sound levels, noise sensitivity, noise annoyance to particular urban sounds ranging from horns to leaf blowers, noise complaints for the City of Boston, and self-reported health impacts.
- Survey Results:Responses from the Greater Boston Neighborhood Noise Survey, including demographics, responses to questions on sound perception, health impacts, and noise abatement strategies. Here, we also present findings from noise complaint data gathered from the City of Boston.
- Neighborhood Noise Report Cards: Each Boston neighborhood was given a grade based on determinants we found both positively and negatively influenced sound levels and sound perception. This is the first of any such report card in the nation and we are super excited to share our results with you. We invite you to see which neighborhood came in first as well as see the score/grade in your neighborhood.
- Community Sound Portraits and Urban Sound Bites: These two series take are aural and visual case studies of sound in our environment. The Community Sound Portrait Series consists of an interview of real-life residents about noise issues in their neighborhood. We take their photograph and collect sound bites and record the sound levels near their home so you can experience their neighborhood visually and aurally. The Urban Sound Bites series is a collection of images and accompanying sounds that are typically found in an urban environment. We invite you to visit these galleries and transport your senses to another dimension.
So, without further ado, OUR REPORT:
CLICK HERE OR THE IMAGE TO VIEW REPORT
I want to first thank Julio and Marcos for the EXTRAORDINARY amount of work that they put into this project. I also want to thank each and everyone of you who took the time to fill out the survey and participated in the sound portraits. I want to thank the Cities of Boston, Somerville, and Cambridge for allowing me to occupy your cities for the past year.
So please, take a look at our results. I also want to let you know that we are currently conducting the National Neighborhood Noise Survey, which can be found HERE. If you are interested in participating in our Community Sound Portrait Series, complete our online application HERE. We will be updating report cards to include neighborhoods in Somerville and Cambridge shortly. Stay tuned!