Experiencing a Soundscape


Hoon Kim for the Architectural Association, 2009


“The use of land contributes to the image of a space. People experiencing noise pollution in New York City report disturbances through 311 phone calls. Midtown Manhattan is full of various blaring facilities and boisterous areas, a theater district, Times Square, constant traffic. What would seem to be the noisiest neighborhood is surprisingly not listed in the top ten neighborhood complaints, according to 311 reports. Ironically, Inwood, an ostensibly quiet enclave of Manhattan, reports the highest rate of noise pollution even though half of the area is a park bordering the Hudson River. Upon further investigation, this fact is due to its land use, which combines residential buildings (most of which is low income housing) with open spaces. A case in point: residents stay and play outside of the buildings during the summer since they do not have air-conditioners. As a result, Inwood ranks first in noisiness in New York City, accounting for over fifty percent of total complaints.”



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