Erica Walker, a student at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, is trying to figure out how all that noise might be affecting its residents. In doing so, she’s discovered that not all sounds in Boston are created equal. Nor are all neighborhoods.
In order to better determine the Boston soundscape, she “started exploring the city at large with a boom mic and a mission: to better understand the distribution of noise in Boston.” In the process, Walker also learned that “each neighborhood revealed its own unique noise structure.”
Walker will be issuing report cards detailing the soundscape of each neighborhood in September, giving Boston residents “the opportunity to find out precisely what might be keeping them up at night, or causing that perpetual migraine, or making them restless.” And that, Walker hopes, is when change may come. “I don’t think these cities will ever be [completely] quiet,” she said. “But they can be less loud.”