Sebastien Preschoux - Color Theory, 2009
San Francisco green roof
“A chair is the first thing you need when you don’t really need anything,” wrote Ralph Caplan. “And is therefore a peculiarly compelling symbol of civilization. For it is civilization, not survival, that requires design.”
Could we design better places where we could all live together without hearing quite so much of each other? And just what would that sound like?
These aren’t questions only for apartment-dwellers. Obnoxious city noise comes from all around us, moving between buildings and through windows and across congested roads. If we don’t tame it„ people may never willingly rearrange themselves into the denser living patterns environmentalists say we need.
“People think, ‘Oh we need electricity from solar panels, we need x-y-z system, we need to use less water,” Thomas Jones, the dean of Cal Poly’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design, says. “But we absolutely have to make living in denser urban environments pleasant to the senses, or we’ll lose the environmental battle.”
Maybe it’s time to start looking at townhouses and bus shelters with the same acoustic care engineers have long given to concert halls and schools. In doing so, it’s possible we could make the city sound not just quieter – but, in a very real way, more pleasant.
Read more at The Atlantic Cities. [Image: Shutterstock]