by Arline L. Bronzaft, Ph.D., Board of Directors, GrowNYC, Co-founder, The Quiet Coalition, and Honorary Chair, Quiet American Skies

International Noise Awareness Day was initiated in 1996 by the Center for Hearing and Communication and I was thrilled when Nancy Nadler, Deputy Executive Director of the Center, asked me to join her and CHC in establishing International Noise Awareness Day which would be celebrated the fourth Wednesday in April. The first year of INAD was to take place on April 24th and was planned as a local activity but news of a day to highlight the dangers of noise to our mental and physical health and well-being spread to other cities quickly, e. g. Vancouver, Canada. By 2000, INAD was recognized across the USA and in 38 countries. This year marks the 27th anniversary of INAD and more information about the activities that one can engage in on that day can be found at the Center for Hearing and Communication website.

International Noise Awareness Day also acknowledges the importance of quiet spaces and parks to our health and well-being. This year the Right to Quiet Society, located in Vancouver, will be holding a virtual INAD event entitled “Quiet Parks and Quiet Spaces.” I am a Board member of Right to Quiet and will be speaking at this virtual forum. Readers of this blog are welcomed to register for this event.

The start of the pandemic brought some quieter time and, interestingly, resulted in more people tuning in to their environment with their ears. So many people reported enjoying the singing of birds and the diminished sound of road traffic. Hopefully, the pleasure of these quieter times will encourage people to take an active role in reducing noise in our communities. You can start by participating in some activity during International Noise Awareness Day on April 27th.