Photo credit: Murad Murat

by Arline L. Bronzaft, Ph.D., Board of Directors, GrowNYC, Co-founder, The Quiet Coalition, and Honorary Chair, Quiet American Skies

That noise complaints, including those made against neighbors, have increased over the past years in the UK is no surprise to those who have been paid attention to the issue of noise pollution. The authors of “Why Noise Matters,” John Stewart, his three British co-authors, and I–the lone American co-author–have been very much involved in studying the adverse impacts of noise pollution on mental and physical health as well as noting the increase in noise complaints in the UK, U.S., and worldwide. Thus, Katie ‘s article on noise complaints “obsessing” the British came as no surprise to me. But I would note that it isn’t just the British who are disturbed by noise, as noise complaints rank at the top of the list of calls to New York City’s 311 complaint phone line.

Rosseinsky describes how the COVID lockdown affected the British attitude and behavior regarding noise in the home. With people working from home, there were complaints about noisy children intruding on this work. Before the lockdown, these children wee not disturbing anyone. Also, people began to experience more quiet time. How will these experiences affect one’s attitude toward sound when the lockdown is over. Will people want more quiet times? Will they now, after the lockdown, be less tolerant of music venues in their neighborhoods?

Some cases are cited where residents were less accepting of music venues and speaking out against the sounds from these establishments. Will new laws have to be written to deal with such complaints? Also, will noise regulations be given greater consideration in the development of new housing projects?

This article has raised some interesting questions on how communities should be dealing with this greater awareness of noise impacts. This is true of communities worldwide, not just the British.

Share this article:

Article Categories

Search Articles