NYU Steinhardt News

SONYC: A Big Apps Finalist

SONYC, a cyber-physical system for monitoring, analysis and mitigation of urban noise pollution, was a NYC BigApps finalist in the Connected Cities category. 

Noise pollution is one of the topmost quality of life issues for urban residents in the United States. It has been estimated that 9 out of 10 adults in New York City (NYC) are exposed to excessive noise levels, i.e. beyond the limit of what the EPA considers to be harmful. When applied to U.S. cities of more than 4 million inhabitants, such estimates potentially extend to over 72 million urban residents across the country.

Sounds of NYC (SONYC), a collaboration between researchers at NYU Steinhardt's program in Music Technology’s Music and Audio Research Lab (MARL), the school of Engineering, and The Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP), and Ohio State University, uses novel technological solutions for:

  • the systematic, constant monitoring of noise pollution at city scale;
  • the accurate description of acoustic environments in terms of its composing sources;
  • broadening citizen participation in noise reporting and mitigation;
  • and enabling city agencies to take effective, information-driven action for noise mitigation.

The Big Apps Finals and Awards Ceremony event took place on December 2, 2015, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Over 100 teams competed this year, with 21 reaching the finals.