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Sound and the city

Effect Of Noise on Children

  • According to the United Nations, about two-thirds of the world's population will be living in cities by the next 30 years.
  • The World Health Organization recommends classrooms to be not louder than 35 decibels, which is never the case in big cities.
  • Children are facing disruption in their learning, and research points out that those who study in a noisy place are 11 months behind the ones who are studying in quieter places in the same vicinity.

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Sound and the city

Sound and the city

https://www.curbed.com/2020/1/15/21065962/noise-pollution-sound-cities

curbed.com

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Key Ideas

Rising Noise Around Us

  • Cities have a noise pollution problem, which is largely unaddressed.
  • Noise complaints regarding the high decibel levels of traffic, airplanes, and even helicopters are getting more frequent. All those engines are making city dwellers forget what 'silence' feels like.
  • Noise isn't just a temporary irritation but can lead to stress and problems like high blood pressure, and heart attacks.

Effect Of Noise on Children

  • According to the United Nations, about two-thirds of the world's population will be living in cities by the next 30 years.
  • The World Health Organization recommends classrooms to be not louder than 35 decibels, which is never the case in big cities.
  • Children are facing disruption in their learning, and research points out that those who study in a noisy place are 11 months behind the ones who are studying in quieter places in the same vicinity.

Living In Noise

Most of the city planning is done so that the affluent neighborhoods are in quieter areas.

However, this is also nullified when the ultra-rich who travel frequently stay close to the transit hubs (like Airports), being exposed to high decibels of noise.

Noise Affects Us Physically

... with anything exceeding 85 decibels resulting in hearing loss with continued exposure.

Sound is a warning sign for us, as we can hear and get affected with noise even while asleep.

Choosing The City Life

  • People put up with the noise in the cities and choose to stay there, even though the villages are having no noise pollution.
  • People are used to the hustle-bustle of the city, have friends and family there, and their home too, leading to inertia in moving to a quieter place.
  • Cities make you meet people more often while going out, something that villages lack. The city dwellers love this buzz of the city, leading them to stay there.

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Jane Jacobs and her biginnings

Jane Jacobs and her biginnings

Born in a Jewish family in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Jane Jacobs is considered a founder of the New Urbanist movement.

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Engaging in urban planning

  • The writer and journalist Jane Jacobs is mainly known for her writings on urban planning.
  • Through magazines such as Architectural Forum or Fortune, she explained her perception on what was wrong with the approach to redevelopment in New York City, for instance.
  • After having attended courses on urban planning, she launched her most famous book 'The death and life of great American cities', which was both highly praised and criticized.

Jane Jacobs' activism

The writer Jane Jacobs has always taken a high interest in urban planning, emphasizing the necessity to take into account community's needs.

She was particularly involved in redevelopment projects such as the ones concerning the Greenwich Village and Toronto, where she participated in demonstrations against changes that did not focus on community, but on individual interests of the 'master builders'.

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Seeking silence

As our internal and external environments become louder and louder, more people are beginning to seek out silence, whether through a practice of sitting quietly for 10 minutes every morning or head...

Silence relieves tension

Noise pollution may lead to high blood pressure and heart attacks, as well as impairing hearing and overall health. Loud noises raise stress levels by activating the brain’s amygdala and causing the release of the stress hormone cortisol, according to research.

Silence has the opposite effect, releasing tension in the brain and body.

Silence and our mental resources

The constant attentional demands of modern life put a significant burden on the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which is involved in high-order thinking, decision-making and problem-solving.

When we can finally get away from these sonic disruptions, our brains’ attention centers have the opportunity to restore themselves.

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