29 April 2006

Acoustic domestic terror

In the industrial age the noisy, grimy factories tended to be 'over there' and people lived slightly at a distance going about their lives manually and travelled with public transport.
Now the suburbs are fully industrialised, the 'in-between' space is for individualised transport in petrol addicted combustion engines. The 'domestic terror' (Leunig) is committed 24/7 with the consent of the monoculture. 'Regulation' suggests that there be peace & quite from 10 pm to 7 am, but 'freedom-loving' individuals feel challenged to make their own law. "Bullies, claiming rights and freedoms that are not theirs while degrading…" common resources. Routine neighbourhood noises, especially petrol-gardening (lawnmowers, debris blowers (aka "leaf blowers"),whipper-snippers, chainsaws, mulchers etc) are not just a nuisance but a health hazard. "People forget that noise is not contained by picket fences". Official stats claim that that constantly barking/yelping dogs are the main reason for concern after petrol-gardening. Compressors, air conditioners, pumps and power tools belong to the sound and vibration-scape of sub-urbia. 2-4 vehicles and motorbikes all fitted with alarms start up in and under the dwellings themselves, fuming, vibrating and revving.The latest electronic entertainment throbs through thin walls,the alarms are for the neighbours. The regular renovation crews set up at the property and are mostly lacking acoustic responsibility.
The acoustic ecology on the roads lacks enforcement. The high financial cost of people moving out of 'high traffic zones', noisy neigbourhoods and the creation of uninhabitable urban areas for 'transport' does not appear in the GDP.
Decibel-based municipal noise laws are accompanied by controversial measurements that do not include vibrations. The health effects of noise and vibration pollution are not just hearing loss, the heart, stress, but also
vibroacoustic disease.
The sky, the water and the ocean are not exempt from the petrol-powered motorised terror.
The hesitation and fragmentation of the enforcing authorities and a sound-illiterate population cannot promote an acoustic urban habitat that promotes peace and quiet.
"In the last 15 years, noise levels have risen six-fold in major US cities. The Census Bureau reports that noise is Americans' top complaint about their neighborhoods, and the major reason for wanting to move." (Noise free America)
Elsewhere people are active for a quiet and healthy society that is sustainable:
On hearing
Previous on Mnly
Elsewhere, from 'below':
Noise free America
The Right to Quite Society, Ca
A quite Life, UK
The Acoustic Ecology Institute
Sound Awareness, educational
Quite gadgets and products
Australian, from 'above':
EPA,NSW noise pollution info
Noise on Waterways
Vehicle noise,EPA, NSW

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