Chesterton has a similar quote on cities I like.
In the feverish summer of this fanaticism there arose the phrase that this or that part of England is being "built over." Now, there is not the slightest objection, in itself, to England being built over by men, any more than there is to its being (as it is already) built over by birds, or by squirrels, or by spiders. But if birds' nests were so thick on a tree that one could see nothing but nests and no leaves at all, I should say that bird civilization was becoming a bit decadent. If whenever I tried to walk down the road I found the whole thoroughfare one crawling carpet of spiders, closely interlocked, I should feel a distress verging on distaste. If one were at every turn crowded, elbowed, overlooked, overcharged, sweated, rack-rented, swindled, and sold up by avaricious and arrogant squirrels, one might at last remonstrate. But the great towns have grown intolerable solely because of such suffocating vulgarities and tyrannies. It is not humanity that disgusts us in the huge cities; it is inhumanity. It is not that there are human beings; but that they are not treated as such. We do not, I hope, dislike men and succubi; we only dislike their being made into a sort of jam: crushed together so that they are not merely powerless but shapeless. It is not the presence of people that makes London appalling. It is merely the absence of The People.http://www.online-literature.com/chesterton/alarms-and-discursions/21/
I used to live next to a major bridge that had a bunch of industrial trucks come in/out of the city. Whenever I opened my window there very quickly settled on the windowsill a grey/black dust, I am sure it's horrific healthwise to breath in but no way not to. Just random dust falling off trucks/cars, let alone exhaust fumes and other things poisonings us as well. That and as you said everything with sound, there's a ton of just little things that eat away at you in areas like that. The people randomly increasing the issues by blasting music or having those showy engines just add insult to injury.