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Research Notes: Dorchester has an interesting soundscape. My extensive sound monitoring in this community suggests that this neighborhood is home to some of the quietest and loudest places in the city. Savin Hill, which is near a major interstate, train line, and a flight path, is oppressively loud. However, today, we are at one of the quieter places—a residential community near Field’s Corner.
We are at the home of Ivelisse, business woman and operations assistant, and her son, local high school student Davonte. Both Ivelisse and her son are both extremely active in their community. Davonte is also a spoken word artist who uses urban noise to inspire his writing. Before we left, we made sure he shared some of his work. Check out the clips below to hear some of his awesome and inspiring spoken words!
Tell us about the noise in your neighborhood:
My neighborhood’s noise level depends on which end you’re standing in, the time of day, and the season we’re in. For example, If I’m sitting on my porch in the morning on a summer day, it’s pretty peaceful with the exception of occasional pedestrians talking, or arguing.
In the morning, you can also enjoy the sounds of mother nature such as birds, and the breeze making its way through the leaves on the trees. You will hear airplanes and occasionally helicopters. As the summer day progresses, you will ALWAYS hear music coming from other homes, backyards, and even cars driving by. The music that is played during the weekends lasts through the entire night.
Davonte commutes to school on public transportation so his experiences are different from mine because I drive. As soon as you step out of our street in either direction, the noise gets a lot louder and busier. From traffic noise, to people talking, arguing, and music playing.
On the main streets there are many businesses that attract a lot of people who tend to chill outside more in good weather. We live near a train station and several bus routes all of which contributes to the noise.
During the 4th of July holiday, you hear a whole lot of fireworks which can sometimes be mistaken for gun shots since we hear that from time to time as well. These fireworks begin early to mid June and last until mid July. This also happened throughout the entire night.
During the winter, the noise slightly changes because people don’t stay outside as much. You will still hear most of the same noise minus the music, and fireworks, but you will still hear the traffic, and people talking just at a much less amount.
Since we spend more time in for the winter and living in a three family unit, we also hear our neighbors if they arguing, playing their music, or having parties (usually on weekends). We can also hear when t.v. is being played loudly or children as they run and play in their apartment.
Some consistency throughout the year despite seasons, direction, time, and location, we also hear sirens.
Overall, I love the sounds in my neighborhood despite the few minor negative sounds because our neighborhood sound like a lot of LIFE!
Actual Noise Level: 60.1 dB
Sound is an ubiquitous urban environmental exposure. However, noise--defined as unwanted sound--is best described by those who live with it every single day of their lives. The goal our Community Sound Portrait Series is to put a human face to the city soundscape and gather a better understanding of how noise impacts residents in the Greater Boston Area, both positively and negatively. The Community Sound Portrait Series is an online interactive exhibition of interviews, audio sound clips, noise measurements, and photographs of residents in the Greater Boston Area. These stories include residents in their neighborhoods as well as in their places of employment. We invite you to read and listen to their stories!
World Health Organization’s Community Noise Guidelines: