Forum: Educate people to make sure our homes are quiet oases too

I thank Straits Times associate editor Chua Mui Hoong for bringing soundscape awareness to readers (Quiet zones will make Singapore a more appealing global city, July 23).

While she chooses to focus on only public spaces, Singaporeans should pause and also consider our own neighbourhoods.

ST reported on Friday that Lutheran Community Care Services, which is running a pilot scheme to help neighbours resolve disputes, said 42 per cent of its referred cases involve noise issues.

As Ms Chua said: "The Covid-19 pandemic has forced a merging of work and personal time and spaces, reminding us of the importance of embedding respite time and areas into our daily routines."

Noise from one's neighbours can take a heavy toll on one's daily home routines.

Singapore is a densely populated city. We live close to one another, with more than 80 per cent living in Housing Board flats.

While unlike leaf blowers, the noise of which can travel far and wide, and particularly high up, noise from one's neighbours can be more insidious: It can be from a weekend party, a weekly karaoke session, a quarrel or even someone throwing a tantrum.

And it can affect and upset many in the neighbourhood.

Singapore needs to have a framework to address this. We should initiate what Ms Chua suggested: "Singapore needs to do more research into soundscaping, and experiment with design, materials and plants that reduce noise pollution and can create quiet oases".

I would add education to her suggestions. We all want our own homes to be a quiet oasis, too.

Seah Ah Kuan

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