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Noise sensitivity

“The consequences of the constant urban rumble extend beyond childhood. Numerous studies have linked noise pollution to increased anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.”

“Even small increases in unwanted ambient sound have significant effects. In 2011, for example, scientists studying people living near seven major European airports found that a 10-decibel increase in aircraft noise was associated with a 28 percent increase in anxiety medication use. Another study found that people living in areas with more road traffic noise were 25 percent more likely than those living in quieter neighborhoods to have symptoms of depression. Similarly, people exposed to noise pollution were found to be significantly more likely to have heart problems like atrial fibrillation compared to those unaffected by noise.”


“Too much noise obstructs and diminishes the human experience. It can permanently damage our ability to hear, of course, but noise also triggers stress responses that range from depression, anxiety, and aggression to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.”

A well-designed soundscape will:

  • Support the purpose of the space
  • Attract and retain people 
  • Increase speech clarity
  • Provide speech privacy
  • Boost performance and productivity
  • Preserve awareness of our surroundings
  • Support learning and concentration
  • Create opportunities for communal communication
  • Reduce distracting noise
  • Provide quiet spaces for rest, focus, reflection
  • Provide communal spaces to help build relationships


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