close
test_template

Challenging Noise Levels in Urban Environments

download print

About this sample

About this sample

close

Words: 626 |

Page: 1|

4 min read

Published: Jul 30, 2019

Words: 626|Page: 1|4 min read

Published: Jul 30, 2019

Noise levels can be challenging in urban environments and a source of sensory overload. ‘Unwanted noise’ such as traffic, sirens, even conversation can be deafening at times. Positive or negative, the sounds in our surrounding environments influence our lives. Human beings have a threshold of sound ranging from 0 decibels to 140 dB, at which point we generally experience some level of associated pain and at 165 dB there can be permanent damage to the ear canal. In a report released by the EPA in 1974, the ideal noise level for us is around 55 dB outdoors and 45 dB indoors before there is “activity interference and annoyance”. Levels should also not exceed more than 70 dB for a 24-hour period to prevent hearing loss or damage over one’s lifetime. For a bit of perspective to how this compares to real-world noises; a New York Subway was recorded ranging from 106-112 dB whereas the level of a ‘babbling brook’ is about 20 dB. While most would probably consider a ‘babbling brook’ a positive sound, many urban noises can have unwanted results. Sometimes the effect of this unwanted noise is small, such as the inability to hear a conversation, other times it takes a greater toll on one's health and well-being, like the loss of sleep, change of mood or a trigger for PTSD. This disruption and exposure to negative sounds can lead to a need for restoration.

'Why Violent Video Games Shouldn't Be Banned'?

The sound of water has a positive effect on the human brain and body. Human life begins in our mother’s womb listening to ‘swooshing’ sounds similar to the sound of the ocean. As if cosmically related somehow, the frequency and rhythm of water are like that of the human breath. Every year people flock to the seaside, some just to hear the sound of the waves crashing on the land. For me, it’s the sound of the rain hitting a river or lake, the trickling of the water from the paddle across the water, and sometimes that muffled ‘swooshing’ silence you get as your ears dip below the surface of the water. It’s relaxing and calming, accompanied by a sense of “weightlessness” that surpasses the literal gravity of my actual being. Activity in the medial prefrontal cortex is ignited by the sound of water, the part of the brain that is strongly correlated with creativity, emotions, self-image, and insight. The emotions described that arise when hearing, or being close to water, are similar to those felt when listening to music, such as “joy, sadness, tension, wonder, peacefulness, power, nostalgia, transcendence”.

The use of water features in urban environments can be used to draw people in and provide a moment of restoration. Parks with water elements tend to be flocked with people, especially in the summertime. Fountains can become landmarks or points of interest and sometimes the watering hole for local and passing birds and other wildlife. In Rome and Venice, Italy the public drinking fountains are easy to miss disguised as works of art. Water flows consistently from decorative fountains, providing a local or visitors with a chance to refill a water bottle and a moment of escape and refreshment. Even pocket parks in urban environments with rushing or falling water, like Paley Park in New York City, have the capacity to drown out the surrounding city noises allowing the visitor a moment of escape and relaxation. If the water element is integrated with stormwater management, it can serve both aesthetics and function. Proximity to a river has the added benefits of nature and a naturalized setting, however, noises from a slow-moving river such as the Ohio, are difficult to hear from a distance. Access to the edge of the river, therefore, is necessary for sound benefits from the river.

Image of Dr. Oliver Johnson
This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Oliver Johnson

Cite this Essay

Challenging Noise Levels In Urban Environments. (2019, July 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 21, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/challenging-noise-levels-in-urban-environments/
“Challenging Noise Levels In Urban Environments.” GradesFixer, 10 Jul. 2019, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/challenging-noise-levels-in-urban-environments/
Challenging Noise Levels In Urban Environments. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/challenging-noise-levels-in-urban-environments/> [Accessed 21 May 2024].
Challenging Noise Levels In Urban Environments [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 Jul 10 [cited 2024 May 21]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/challenging-noise-levels-in-urban-environments/
copy
Keep in mind: This sample was shared by another student.
  • 450+ experts on 30 subjects ready to help
  • Custom essay delivered in as few as 3 hours
Write my essay

Still can’t find what you need?

Browse our vast selection of original essay samples, each expertly formatted and styled

close

Where do you want us to send this sample?

    By clicking “Continue”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.

    close

    Be careful. This essay is not unique

    This essay was donated by a student and is likely to have been used and submitted before

    Download this Sample

    Free samples may contain mistakes and not unique parts

    close

    Sorry, we could not paraphrase this essay. Our professional writers can rewrite it and get you a unique paper.

    close

    Thanks!

    Please check your inbox.

    We can write you a custom essay that will follow your exact instructions and meet the deadlines. Let's fix your grades together!

    clock-banner-side

    Get Your
    Personalized Essay in 3 Hours or Less!

    exit-popup-close
    We can help you get a better grade and deliver your task on time!
    • Instructions Followed To The Letter
    • Deadlines Met At Every Stage
    • Unique And Plagiarism Free
    Order your paper now