Noisy City lets you see and hear noise pollution in your city

Photo credit: Quintin Gellar

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

Two senses informing you about noisy areas in your town are better than one. Do check out, as I did, these brilliant maps that let you hear as well as see the noisy spots in one’s city. Since New York City was one of the four cities for which an audible map was available, I roamed through the New York City neighborhoods listening to the noise levels. Karim Douieb, who runs a data-visualization company called Jetpack is responsible for developing these “eye-ear” maps, called Noisy City.

It will not be surprising as you scroll through the map to identify the causes of high decibel level volumes-–road and airport traffic. The article’s author, Elissaveta M. Brandon, points out the noise associated with JFK and LaGuardia airports and then reminds her readers that living under a flight path “could increase the risk of developing high blood pressure or having a stroke.”

I urge readers to check out the Noisy City site to experience the sounds of the cities that have been mapped out. We should expect more cities will be similarly mapped out in the future. More important is the hope that this additional way to highlight the noise of our cities will facilitate the lessening of urban noise pollution.

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