Quietude – Solutions

music
ambience: Traffic

Quiet is becoming something of a rare phenomenon. Those of us who live in cities and suburbs get used to a certain level of noise and that level appears to be rising. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

“There’s the general background hum which is kind of an indistinct accumulation of all the engines, and whatever that’s out there. And then there are the distinct extra loud sounds that may rise above the background hum. I would argue that the background hum is getting progressively louder as more noise making machines from the sky, the airplanes, all the way down to cell phones on the ground, are emitting noise into the common space.”

Peter Barnes is the author of the book “Who Owns the Sky?” We asked him if it might be possible to restore some relative quiet to our environment.

“Well one thing I very much favor for cities are “car free days”. They’ve had these in Europe with astonishing effect. Rome, car free for a day. It’s a completely different city. People love it. They go walking around talking to one another. There’s no noise – there’s no traffic – it transforms the city. I think we ought to experiment with that in the U.S., and we might be surprised about how we feel about cars, as well as other noisy things. I think the right to quietude is like the right to privacy. It’s almost like the 4th Amendment, the right to be secure in your homes from unwanted invasions.”

Pulse of the Planet is presented by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

music

Quietude - Solutions

If there is a right to quiet in our common spaces, how can we best preserve it?
Air Date:11/27/2009
Scientist:
Transcript:


music
ambience: Traffic

Quiet is becoming something of a rare phenomenon. Those of us who live in cities and suburbs get used to a certain level of noise and that level appears to be rising. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

"There's the general background hum which is kind of an indistinct accumulation of all the engines, and whatever that's out there. And then there are the distinct extra loud sounds that may rise above the background hum. I would argue that the background hum is getting progressively louder as more noise making machines from the sky, the airplanes, all the way down to cell phones on the ground, are emitting noise into the common space."

Peter Barnes is the author of the book "Who Owns the Sky?" We asked him if it might be possible to restore some relative quiet to our environment.

"Well one thing I very much favor for cities are "car free days". They've had these in Europe with astonishing effect. Rome, car free for a day. It's a completely different city. People love it. They go walking around talking to one another. There's no noise - there's no traffic - it transforms the city. I think we ought to experiment with that in the U.S., and we might be surprised about how we feel about cars, as well as other noisy things. I think the right to quietude is like the right to privacy. It's almost like the 4th Amendment, the right to be secure in your homes from unwanted invasions."

Pulse of the Planet is presented by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.

music