Join us as we explore the soundscapes of cities!

 Acoustical Society of America:
Greater Boston Chapter

Capturing the Urban Soundscape: Moving Beyond the A-weighted Decibel

Wednesday, September 14th: Reception at 6:30 pm & Presentation at 7 pm

The urban environment plays host to a wide variety of activities. As a result, this environment is rife with sounds of varying intensity, character, and duration. Epidemiological studies have shown that chronic exposure to noise common in the urban environment is associated with a wide range of negative stress and cardiovascular related responses.  However, in the overwhelming majority of such studies, sound exposure has been routinely characterized using an A-weighted based metric, which may not fully capture the urban soundscape or the human sound experience

The objective of this research is to extend the toolkit of sound metrics used in epidemiological studies by: (1) constructing spatial-temporal statistical models of sound levels beyond the A-weighted decibel and (2) constructing socio-spatial statistical models of community noise perception. In this presentation, both models with be presented.

Featured Speaker: 

Erica Walker is a doctoral candidate at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Her doctoral thesis, “Noise and Health: Exposures, Experiments, and Epidemiology,” takes a deeper look at community noise issues and their negative impacts on cardiovascular and mental health. She is particularly interested in understanding characteristics of sound beyond the typically reported A-weighted decibel, noise perception, and community noise policy. She is also the founder of Noise and The City ( and will be issuing Boston’s first Neighborhood Noise Report Card, this fall.

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016
6:30 PM – Refreshments
7:00 PM – Presentation

33 Moulton St.
Cambridge, MA 02138

The meeting is free to GBC/ASA members. Members are encouraged to invite interested colleagues and friends of the chapter to attend. We request a suggested donation of $3 from non-members to help cover the cost of food.

Map & Directions




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