How Do You Tell a Whole City to Shush?
We’re speeding toward the loudest night of the year—New Year’s Eve. But for some city folk, the decibel levels on Dec. 31 may not sound all that different from the volume on, say, Jan. 4. And that, says a growing group of noise control advocates, is a problem.
Or is it? In the face of whopping societal problems—like poverty, wealth inequality, and climate change, to name a few—the movement to carve out more quiet spaces in cities may seem a little, well, superficial. But with reports that suggest excessive noise can have a negative impact on education and health, is it time for us to begin legislating noise control as a public health issue—or do we risk sanitizing the lively cacophony that’s characteristic of a robust, healthy city? We asked those questions to five experts.
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