What makes a city less noisy?

Photo credit: Daniel Durin

by Daniel Fink, MD, Chair, The Quiet Coalition

What makes a city less noisy? Soundproofist recently discussed this after its founder visited Copenhagen. He notes that it’s really urban design that helps make a city quieter, including efforts to increase bicycle travel, reduce or eliminate vehicular traffic, and improve public transit, especially light rail, combined with architectural standards meant to conserve energy in colder climates that also reduce indoor sound levels.

Of interest, I learned that European cities over 100,000 population are required to produce sound maps every few years. Soundproofist has a list of these noise maps. As Soundproofist states, “soundscape analysis and planning can help to minimize excessive human-generated or machine-generated noise issues that impact human health. US cities should do the same.”

We couldn’t agree more because a quieter world with less pollution from internal combustion engines will be a better and healthier world for all.

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