The Sound Environment
The ears are always active. We can never close our ears in the same way that we can close our eyes, Therefore it must be a priority to try to make our sound environment as healthy and beneficial as we can for man, mind and ear alike. At the same time listening as a concious act has to be stimulated to make us aware of sound, for a more responsible handling of our sonic environment, as well as to provide new aestethic experiences.
A growing group of researchers have in later years recently found that excessive noise exposure can, Apart from causing irreparable damage to hearing, cause or stimulate development of serious and possibly fatal health problems such as cardiovascular disturbances through increasing stress load, both momentary and in longer perspectives.
Escalating traffic noise and a web of roads that grows denser every year, together with other transport noises, such as airplanes and railways, makes quiet recreational and housing areas and nature more attractive and valuable everyday. Lack of consideration from arrangers of motorsports and entertainment, together with the constant media sound in television, radio and eletronic devices makes excessive exposure difficult if not impossible, for many people to escape from. More and more people are becoming increasingly aware of our sound environment and how it affects us. Much is being done by research communities the world over to promote further research, and to develop healthier sound environments.
The Sound Environment Center at Lund University should be seen as one of the actors in this process.