Typing “noise” and any one or more of the following words –annoyance, stress, or quality of life–into a search engine will turn up an abundance of message boards, blogs, and YouTube videos detailing stories and actual footage of urban dwellers at their wits end when it comes to noise within and surrounding their living environments. From road traffic, train horns, and low flying airplanes, to construction projects, cries of domestic animals, and neighbors’ footsteps, the urban environment hosts a wide range of potential auditory nuisances.
We here at Noise and the City believe that noise is an overlooked community health issue. And, we want to do something about it—which means that we want to gain a better understanding of HOW LOUD communities are and to WHAT EXTENT residents are affected by community noise.
Noise and the City was founded in 2015 as both the home to the former Greater Boston Neighborhood Noise Survey (now the National Neighborhood Noise Survey) and a place where the organization’s founder, Erica Walker, could document her dissertation research as a doctoral candidate at Harvard T.H. Chan’s School of Public Health. Her current work is two-fold:
First, she is building a noise model for the City of Boston to develop a number of novel noise metrics to be utilized in epidemiological studies. Second, she is administering the National Neighborhood Noise Survey to gain a better understanding of the urban residents’ perception towards noise in their communities.
Early summer, she will launch the National Neighborhood Noise survey in select cities across the nation!
Noise and the City is research organization whose mission is to gain a better understanding of the relationship between community noise and health. We will accomplish this mission through:
- Community sound monitoring in cities across the nation
- Administering community noise surveys in cities across the nation
- Publishing community noise reports to be accessible to participating communities and peer-reviewed academic papers on community noise exposure and health