Click to play the sound bite
We traveled to the impressive home of Dr. Marcos Luna and his wife Dr. Neenah Estrella-Luna– professors at Salem State University and Northeastern University, respectively. They are also strong community activists in areas ranging from local politics to climate change. This photoshoot is dedicated to our beloved immigrant community and those who play critical roles in making sure that their voices are heard.
Here’s what Dr’s Luna and Estrella-Luna have to say about noise in their neighborhood:
How loud is your neighborhood?
The noise level varies considerably but on average, it is pretty high. There are lovely mornings and afternoons that are blissfully quiet. But more often, the airplanes, car traffic, and simple density of the neighborhood makes it quite noisy. It’s hard to get angry about neighbors playing music on a sunny Saturday afternoon. However, since I work from home about half of the week, when neighbors are playing music while washing their car out front, it can make it difficult to get work done. More problematic is the penchant for honking horns among Boston drivers. This occurs most often during trash pick-up day. Apparently some people believe that if they lean on their horns, that the trash truck will magically disappear.
With that said, when it is quiet, it is amazing.
It can be very quiet and it can get really noisy. This is a residential neighborhood and we live near Logan Airport. Flight patterns really determine how loud it can get. Most of the time, the planes are not flying overhead and you would not believe that we were anywhere near an airport. On a typical day, it’s just birds, conversation between neighbors on the street, and an occasional car going by. When the winds are out of the north, however, planes fly over the neighborhood and it can get nearly unbearable.
Actual Noise Level:
64.6 dB in front of house,
65.0 dB in the backyard garden
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: