Community Noise Measurements
Billions of individuals are urban dwellers and urban noise is most often viewed as the price we must pay to live in close proximity to extensive industrial, commercial, residential, and transportation networks. However, noise is a common complaint in cities around the world and epidemiological studies are slowly unearthing the negative health effects associated with exposure to chronic and excessive noise.
While the World Health Organization has recommended guidelines for day and night time noise levels (55 and 45 dBA, respectively), a sound app on your smart phone will tell you that cities are much louder than this. We here are noise and the city are interested in understanding:
(1) How loud cities are using a variety of noise metrics and
(2) understanding how these noise levels negatively impact health.
We are currently monitoring sound levels at a number of locations in the City of Boston. These sound measurements will be utilized to create noise maps for the City. We are particularly interested in urban communities located near major transportation networks (near airports or major roadways) and vulnerable communities–the elderly, the poor, and the undocumented.