Aerial view at dusk of UC Berkeley campus with tall tower in foreground and San Francisco Bay in the background

Opinion: How California’s Environmental Law Empowers NIMBYs

Critics of a new provision calling “social noise” an environmental impact say the law can too easily be co-opted by anti-housing groups to block new development.

March 27, 2023 - Los Angeles Times

Helicopter flying over New York City with Empire State Building visible on left

Helicopter Noise Complaints Surge in New York

Residents argue the city and state must do more to regulate the hundreds of flights that criss-cross the area on a daily basis.

December 13, 2022 - StreetsBlog NYC

"QUIET Please be considerate of our neighbors" sign on outside of building with dim light

Houston Doubles Noise Violation Fine

In response to a spike in complaints from people living near bars and clubs, Houston has updated its noise ordinance to raise fines and require additional permits for amplified sound.

September 8, 2022 - Houston Chronicle

Crosswalk button with illustration of visually impaired pedestrian

The Sound of Silence: Designing Electric Vehicles for Safety

Near-silent electric vehicles pose a danger to people with visual impairments, so engineers are studying ways to make the vehicles audible while maintaining the benefits of quieter streets.

August 17, 2022 - The New Yorker

Woman smelling flowers at a street stand

Sensory Urbanism Fights ‘Visual Bias’ in Planning

Researchers are beginning to understand the effect of sounds, smells, and tastes in the urban experience.

June 20, 2022 - Technology Review

portrait of woman walking on the city street covering her ears

California Bill Proposes Automated Noise Pollution Enforcement

If signed by Governor Gavin Newsom, a new bill would use automated sensors and cameras to enforce decibel limits on cars and motorcycles.

May 12, 2022 - AutoWeek

Amazon Warehouse

The Impact of Amazon Warehouses on Communities

Often located in low-income communities of color, Amazon's warehouses contribute to public health impacts like poor air quality, noise pollution, and traffic congestion.

December 16, 2021 - Consumer Reports


Using Tech to Control Noise Pollution

Several cities are piloting programs that use machine learning to identify and understand urban noise patterns and enforce noise ordinances.

December 13, 2021 - Bloomberg CityLab

British Columbia residential Neighborhoods

Opinion: Renters Shouldn't Be a 'Buffer' for Single-Family Homes

Despite the well-documented impacts of traffic noise and pollution, Vancouver's housing policy effectively relegates multi-family apartment buildings to busy arterial roads.

October 28, 2021 - Sightline Institute

Emergency Response

Sirens May Do 'More Harm Than Good,' Research Shows

The ear-piercing sirens used by emergency vehicles are shown to have little impact on patient outcomes while contributing to more dangerous road conditions, experts say.

October 21, 2021 - The New York Times

Mumbai Traffic

To Curb the Honking, Mumbai’s 'Punishing Signal'

Incessant honking just adds to the chaos on city streets, so Mumbai police put up a clever device to remind drivers that making noise will not ease traffic woes.

February 20, 2020 - The New York Times

Sound Audio Waves

When Noise Is a Matter of Life and Death

The world is noisier than ever, and the long-term effects of exposure are serious. Still, noise pollution isn’t considered a legitimate environmental hazard.

October 31, 2019 - The Atlantic


The Search for Natural Silence

With more cars on roads and planes in the sky than ever before, finding truly noise-free places with pure natural sounds has become ever more challenging.

July 2, 2019 - KUOW (The Wild)

Landscape near the Craters of the Moon in South Central Idaho

The Noisiest Places Are Found Far From the City

Humans can't always hear the sound, but there is plenty of noise in what we think of quiet corners of the United States.

May 14, 2019 - FiveThirtyEight

Louisville Bus

Electric Buses Slowly Gain Momentum in U.S. Transit Systems

Industry experts project growth for electric buses, which could have big impacts on air quality and emissions in cities around the world.

May 3, 2018 - Vox

Boston Airport

Flight Path Changes Raise Hell Around Logan International Airport

A resident in Medford counted 110 planes flying above his house in the span of six hours.

March 30, 2018 - The Boston Globe

Atlanta International Airport

Surprisingly Few People Make a Lot of Airport Noise Complaints

A new study has found that just a handful of people are responsible for the majority of noise complaints directed toward airports.

October 26, 2016 - Quartz

Urban Noise Forces Birds to Change Their Tune

The amount of urban background noise is affecting the songs that birds sing to attract mates.

September 1, 2011 - Discovery

Residents vs. Opera-Singing Waiters

Colloseo, a restaurant in San Francisco's North Beach, wants to feature Luca, their opera-singing waiter, as part of the ambience. The Telegraph Hill Dwellers, an influential neighborhood situation, says no.

November 22, 2010 - The San Francisco Chronicle

Community Says 'No' to In-N-Out

Locals in Walnut Creek are up in arms over a proposed In-N-Out Burger. Columnist Tom Barnidge says that while "provincialism often is the catalyst for complaint," there is reason to protest in this case.

September 20, 2010 - Contra Costa Times

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HUD’s 2023 Innovative Housing Showcase

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

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Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.