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Urban sounds and noise not new but an increasing problem

A recent BBC article discussed our early understanding of the disturbance of unwanted sounds from Roman times up to and including today where you can watch a short film where Prof. Bridget Shield of London South Bank University (LSBU) and the current President of the Institute of Acoustics in the UK and Charles Dance also from LSBU outline the typical everyday issues in London where man made sounds are increasingly amplified by man made buildings.

Like the sound issues often experiences indoors, the film outlines how all the hard man made surfaces reflect the sounds and the cacophony of street sounds continues to build up. The article makes an interesting read to catalogue how urban sounds were perceived and what early measures were taken to mitigate or avoid these.
The article links to a radio series where David Hendy presents Noise: A Human History on BBC Radio 4 weekdays at 13:45 GMT
He is also the author of the book Noise: A Human History of Noise and Listening
Read the article and watch the film here
In addition to this, a survey “Hear a pin drop here” was launched recently to help assess the sould levels in urban areas

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