In June 2019, the NYU Center for the Study of Asian American Health (CSAAH) met with community and neighborhood advocates to create a list of recommended mitigation strategies to address the impact of long-term construction on the health of vulnerable older adults in Chinatown. In February 2020, CSAAH and the Sounds of New York City (SONYC) team of research scientists from NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering installed three sound sensors on the roof of Chung Pak LDC. Located at 96 Baxter Street in Manhattan Chinatown, Chung Pak shares a wall with the Manhattan Detention Center (MDC). The aim of installing the sound sensors was to collect baseline noise levels before the start of the City’s planned long-term construction. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a lawsuit submitted by community leaders, the City’s construction plans have been temporarily delayed.
On Friday, December 4th, 2020, CSAAH invited the community and other stakeholders to join a virtual community forum and listening session as part of our Sounds of Chinatown initiative. Attendees explored noise issues in Chinatown stemming from long-term construction and traffic, learned about the initial set of Chung Pak noise sensor data, and collectively discussed noise mitigation strategies and civic engagement around alleviating noise in Chinatown. Below is a summary of the forum event and the noise sensor data findings.