The research project
»What is neighbour noise?«

The research project “What is neighbour noise?” ran from 2018-2021 and sought to understand when the sound of neighbours becomes disturbing noise for residents living in multi-storey buildings. Noise is often the cause of disputes between neighbours, yet it continues to be an underexposed subject in the area of noise research. Neighbour noise effects people in various ways and our research shows that the volume of the noise is only one aspect influencing when sounds from neighbours become disturbing noise. Time of hour, people’s relationship with their neighbours, the character of the sound, personal histories, associations and expectations are important elements defining when sounds from neighbours are experienced as disturbing noise.

The research project centers around approx. 8 months of ethnographic fieldwork in the Copenhagen area and in Struer in Western Jutland. The fieldwork consists of two parts primarily; interviews with inhabitants living in multi-storey buildings (private rental, social housing, housing co-ops, and private owners included) and interviews with professionals from the housing and building sector as well as other stakeholders whom inhabitants might get in touch with when filing a formal complaint about or having a dispute with a neighbour.

Together around Neighbour Noise

The project 'Together around Neighbour Noise – recommendations for handling Neighbour Noise' ran from 2020-2021. Characterised as interventionist research, it built upon the insights of the project 'What is Neighbour Noise'. It actively involved residents and collaborated with an acoustician for developing solutions to everyday issues on neighbour noise. Based on a series of workshops, it suggested concrete tools for residents, housing committees and -administrations on how to handle and seek to prevent issues around neighbour noise.