• Rami Abou-Sabe

How Noise Impacts Our Lives


The first episode of The Curiosity Report explores the relationship between noise and our lives. In this episode, we set out to answer two fundamental questions about noise. First, we explore how sound impacts our health, and second, we assess the connection between noise levels and property values.

The source material for this episode comes from the National Transportation Noise Map, a dataset of road and traffic noise compiled by the US Department of Transportation, Zillow, the city of Boston's datasets on Property Assessment, and 311 Service Requests, and researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital.

You will hear sounds from around the city of Boston, captured on a Zoom mobile recorder with a directional AKG microphone, and an interview with Dr. Michael T. Osborne, a cardiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital about his study on noise and cardiovascular health.


Tuning into the episode from home? Pull up Google's free spectrogram and select your microphone as the input. Watch along as the sounds you are hearing is visualized in-real time.


As we discuss in the episode, one of the problems with our assessment of noise and property values is the counter-current of desirable urban centers. In future research, we hope to investigate the impact of sound on a street-by-street basis, as well as gathering data points from further outside the city. By filling in the resolution of data, clearer trends will emerge that can in turn be utilized for noise abatement policies.



2020 Rami Abou-Sabe