Publication Date

Spring 2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Studies


Carolina Prado


Environmental Justice, Justice, Noise, Noise Pollution, Urban, Urban Green Space

Subject Areas

Environmental studies; Environmental justice; Environmental management


Noise pollution is an environmental stressor associated with a number of poor health outcomes. Promisingly, recent studies have identified urban green spaces such as public parks and community gardens as-built environments that can minimize noise pollution in the urban context. The objective of this project was to identify low-income communities of color that lack urban green space accessibility within the city of San José, California, to determine if sound level could be an indicator of urban green space usage and to evaluate whether urban green space can mitigate noise. Neighborhood demographics based on census tract data, including ethnicity and socioeconomic status, were analyzed with Leq (average sound) data to compare sound levels in urban green spaces. Overall, urban green space ratings compared to average inside and outside Leq ratings were dependent upon the park attendee counts within the urban green space areas. It appeared that Leq measurements near the center of the urban green space were lower in decibel levels as compared to Leq outside measurements; however, there were no statistically significant relationships derived from statistical tests. The overall study also found no statistically significant results, although there were clear displays of low and low/middle-income urban green spaces experiencing lower decibel readings compared to middle/high and high-income urban green space areas.