24 July 2007

Noisy suburbs made unlivable

Housing is inadequate for the ubiquitous noise emissions. Law and enforcement lags behind. No usabilitiy, loss of value - unsustainability

The living and mobility architecture of Australia has not kept pace in the last few decades with the dissipation of ubiquitous (noisy) technology. With the majority still living in a petrol fuelled sub-urban sprawl along the coasts, housing quality gives in to quantity. The emerging higher density housing also has no quality indicators regarding standards and insulation.

Within the range of 'can do' is the proliferation of static and mobile mechanization and technology. Living areas are THE industrial space as such. Large Footprint mansions are constantly rebuilt, not to achieve a passive house, but to house-flip and cash in. Hence the building noise and the associated pollution never stops. The McMansions are filled up with gear & gadgets. Most are electricity or petrol powered and run in a space of seemingly endless energy. Machines the size of European smart-cars heat or cool the entire bunkers humming 24/7. The three-tonne hummers make numerous trips a day to get the 250 ml of something from the corner shop and leave an even hotter world behind. Large screen T.V.s seem to take up the entire wall and are running from dawn to dusk. Loud amplified music is generously shared with the block. The remaining Earth around the property is regularly attacked with numerous noisy petrol gadgets.

Defying the existing laws, most of these noise polluting acts are freely committed at any hour. Many of the ubiquitous machines emit low frequency noise - these unrecognised vibrations are detrimental to the well-being of life. The law and the enforcing bodies have yet to recognise that living in an industrial site and being subjected to 'domestic noise' has serious health effects, e.g. productivity and loss of habitable 'real estate'.

Commercial establishments attract customers by 'throbbing their body', rather than catering to the ear. As this process continues into the early morning hours, it also happens to throb the value and usability of the neighbouring flats (downwards).

In the absence of contemporary dwellings, law, effective enforcement and acoustic personal responsibility, one can buy 'peace & quiet' from the 'noise cancellation industry'. One can simply build a bunker, screening out 'domestic' industrial noise, transportation and (re)-construction noise. The market is sure to benefit from the arms-race of building out noise pollution. It is easier to leave behind uninhabitable urban areas, than regulate noise from 'convenient' machinery.
Acoustic domestic terror
Noisy 'Gardening'
WHO Noise guidlines
Manly Council

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