The impact of Covid-19 on city noise measured by the N.Y.U. researchers
It seems that the Covid-19 pandemic influenced almost all aspects of human’s life. In this one case, described in New York Times, you might actually hear it’s impact on a big city. The recordings taken last year and this year shows how much the noise on once busy streets of New York has decreased.
Noise-monitoring microphones are wrapped in spikes to keep the pigeons away.
George Etheredge for The New York Times; photo from the article
The article describes a research carried out on the streets of lower Manhattan and presents a comparison of two sound samples – one recorded on Lafayette and East 4th Street in April 2019 and the other one recorded at the same location one year later – in the mid of the Covid-19 pandemic. The recorded sound level dropped as much as 5dB due to more empty streets and less traffic in the city. The decrease of street noise level has also been noticed in other big cities such as Singapore and London. The sounds that are less audible right now are the sounds strictly connected to human activities, such as transportation, sounds of sirens or human speech.
Interestingly, sounds that are still present in the city, like singing birds, are now perceived as louder than before the pandemic.
You can read full article and hear the recorded sound samples on NYT website: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/05/22/upshot/coronavirus-quiet-city-noise.html