Worskhop 4/24/2019

Noise, Quietness, and the Healthy City
Wednesday, April 24th, 9:45 AM

 A day-long workshop will be hosted at New York University (NYU) on April 24, 2019 in celebration of the 2019 International Noise Awareness Day (INAD), with talks, discussions, and a soundwalk in the Washington Square Park area.

The International Noise Awareness Day (INAD) was founded in 1996 in New York City (NYC) by the Center for Hearing and Communication (CHC) with the aim of raising awareness about noise effects on hearing, physical and mental health, and overall well-being of people worldwide. Noise constitutes the second most harmful environmental stressor and, despite being often overlooked in public health debates and agendas, excessive noise exposure constitutes serious health risks and high societal costs as indicated by the World Health Organization (WHO).

WHO now recommends noise reduction in parallel to protecting quiet areas as part of their latest guidelines on environmental noise. However, the general public, and even experts in many cases, are not always informed and updated on information, data, and policies pertinent to noise, quiet areas, and their effects on community health.

This workshop is aimed at addressing this gap by engaging the NYC community with expert talks and soundwalks that will provide answers to important questions about city noise, including:

  • What exactly is noise pollution?
  • How does noise affect urban environments, population health, and local economies?
  • What reduction measures and strategies is NYC implementing?
  • What are quiet urban areas and what state-of-the-art measures exist for their identification and protection?
  • What is the “soundscape approach” to noise pollution? Why does it represent a citizen-driven paradigm shift?
  • What are the tools and resources available to take action and contribute to protection of quiet areas in cities?

Invited speakers include (in alphabetical order):

The workshop will involve a full day of community engagement through talks and discussions as well as outdoor soundscape exploration sessions. The morning talks will be followed by an early afternoon soundwalk around the Washington Square Park area. The soundwalk will be followed with a group discussion on data collected from the soundwalk and access to the CHC Mobile Unit offering hearing screenings and sound demos.

New Yorkers participating in the soundwalk will be guided by our team to listen to Greenwich Village soundscapes with a focus on quiet areas along a predetermined pathway. Participants will also be invited to take part in a citizen-science research project and use the free Hush City app and Citygram app to measure, capture, map, and evaluate precious quiet areas around the NYU.


9:45 AM – 10:00 AM Welcome and Introduction
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM Invited Speakers (20 min talks)

Arline Bronzaft, GrowNYC

Nancy Nadler, Center for Hearing and Communication

Charles Shamoon, NYC Department of the Environmental Protection

Adrian Benepe, The Trust for Public Land

Tae Hong Park, New York University & Chief Architect of Citygram

Antonella Radicchi, TU Berlin, HEAD-Genuit Found. Fellow & Hush City app inventor

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Lunch
1:00 PM – 2:30 PM Introduction to soundwalks and conducting the soundwalk
2:30 PM – 3:30 PM Break and Hearing Screening at the CHC Mobile Unit
3:30 PM – 4:30 PM Group discussion of soundscape data via Hush City app and Citygram app
4:30 PM – 5:00 PM Wrap-up: Concluding remarks and future plans

Organizers & Collaborators
The “Noise, Quietness, and the Healthy City” workshop is organized by Antonella Radicchi, Tae Hong Park, and Arline Bronzaft as part of the NoiseGate Festival launched in 2016 to explore noise as a community-driven, data-driven, art-driven, 3D effort. This workshop will celebrate International Noise Awareness Day (INAD) and it has been made possible with the support of (in alphabetical order):

  • Acoustical Society of America (ASA)
  • Center for Hearing and Communication (CHC)
  • Dayton Audio by Parts Express
  • GrowNYC
  • HEAD-Genuit Foundation
  • New York City Department of the Environmental Protection (DEP)
  • New York University (NYU)
  • NoiseGate
  • Technical University of Berlin (TU Berlin)
  • The Quiet Coalition
  • The Trust for Public Land

The participation in the event and in the soundwalk is free: please RSPV here.

For inquiries and directions, email inad2019nyu@gmail.com or contact Prof. Tae Hong Park at 212-998-5730.

 Event Information
The event will take place on Wednesday, April 24th from 9:45 AM to 5:00 PM at the NYU Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, 70 Washington Square S, New York, NY 10012, 7th floor, Feldstein Immersion Room.

The Soundwalk meeting point is at 1:00 PM sharp at the Founders Memorial in the NYU Native Woodland Garden, on the east face of the NYU Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, New York, NY 10012.

(c) Text by Antonella Radicchi, Tae Hong Park, Arline Bronzaft.