urbanizta

Science, resources

Julian Treasure, soundscape expert with The Sound Agency, says in this CBC podcast (first 12 minutes) that sound affects us in four ways:

  • physiologically – heart rate
  • psychologically – mental state
  • cognitively — how well we can think
  • behaviourally – we move away from unpleasant sounds

Noise has serious impact on human health, he says.

In the context of the West End community planning process, expected to be approved by City Council in the fall of 2013, citizens might wish to to tell Mayor and Council that they would like a world-class and innovative initiative in our community to consider soundscapes, by

  • minimizing disruptive noises such as construction, truck traffic, etc.
  • maximizing healthy sounds through awareness, analysis, and innovative planning of the soundscape

The most critical time for public involvement in this important process is from now until the summer of 2013

HEALTH EFFECTS OF NOISE

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_effects_from_noise

World Health Organization activities relating to noise

http://www.euro.who.int/en/what-we-do/health-topics/environment-and-health/noise

WHAT CAN CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY AND COMPANIES DO?

  1. Develop best practices guide in the industry to minimize impacts on communities
  2. Adjust truck routing
  3. Control work hours
  4. Select technologies that have smaller impacts on the community — for example options exist for shoring the excavation walls. Some technologies are much quieter
  5. Select work practices that have smaller impacts on the community

WHAT CAN PUBLIC SERVANTS DO?

  1. When reviewing rezoning/development applications, consider the community context, and include an evaluation of impacts into the staff report to council along with suggestions on how to mitigate disruptions on the community

WHAT CAN ELECTED OFFICIALS (MAYOR AND COUNCIL) DO?

  1. Make rezoning/development approvals conditional on having the proponent meet with the community in an open, public meeting, to present the work details and schedule, and to receive feedback from the community.
  2. Ensure that community interests, livability, neighbourliness are preserved in any developments approved by City Council.
  3. Have a change of attitude. The current City Council majority (Vision Vancouver, under Mayor Gregor Robertson) actually has a belligerent and punitive attitude toward residents who speak at Public Hearings if they raise objections to negative impacts during construction, negative impacts of loss of sky, loss of views, etc. Individuals are left to feel that they are being selfish or unreasonable. A paradigm shift is needed. Livability of a neighbourhood is, certainly, affected during and after construction of major projects.

WHAT CAN THE URBAN DEVELOPMENT INDUSTRY DO?

  1. Support all of the above
  2. Research best practices globally
  3. Enter into meaningful dialogue with the public, and facilitate dialogue between industry members and the public

URBAN DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE (UDI)
The Urban Development Institute is a national non-profit association (with international affiliations) of the development industry and its related professions. With over 500 corporate members, UDI Pacific represents thousands of individuals involved in all facets of land development and planning, including: developers, property managers, financial lenders, lawyers, engineers, planners, architects, appraisers, real estate professionals, local governments and government agencies.

UDI Code of Ethics
EXCERPT
As a responsible corporation, we recognize the need for wise, efficient and productive urban land use. To achieve this, it is essential that governments, communities and industry work together. As land use and development professionals, we will use our professional knowledge and expertise to further the enhancement of the land and the advancement of the quality of life of all who live on it. We ascribe to the following:
Respect for the Public: we will endeavor to enhance the public’s understanding of the development process to preserve their trust in the development profession and to protect their welfare.
Respect for the Community: We will strive to provide quality housing and facilities, acknowledging that development plays an important role in directing communities. We recognize that development needs to be responsible.
READ THE WHOLE CODE HERE: http://udi.bc.ca/code-of-ethics

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