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Interactive maps reveal the worst areas for noise pollution in London, Recent York, and Paris

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As three of the busiest modern cities world wide, it should come as no surprise that London, Recent York, and Paris are buzzing with traffic noise.

Now, interactive maps have been developed by climate charity Possible as a part of its Automobile Free Cities campaign, revealing just how intense this noise could be in parts of the three cities.

Unsurprisingly, areas with busy roads and people near airports are inclined to have the best levels of noise pollution, while areas with large parks are inclined to have the bottom levels.

For instance, in Recent York, noise pollution levels are highest around John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia airport, and lowest around Central Park.

Talking to MailOnline, Hirra Khan Adeogun, Head of the Automobile Free Cities campaign, said:  ‘It’s well-known how mass private automotive ownership damages the climate and contributes to toxic air. 

‘However the damage London’s traffic noise is having on the health of its residents has been missed for too long – with the last noise pollution strategy in London being 2004! 

‘Megacities like Paris are showing us up – addressing the problem seriously through proper monitoring and the usage of progressive solutions like sound sensors, while taking big strides to cut back automotive dominance more widely. 

‘London urgently must take a leaf out of their book, reducing traffic and revamping our soundscape.’

Other than being irritating, studies have shown that noise pollution can have serious impacts on our health, with the World Health Organisation (WHO) now listing noise pollution as one in every of the largest threats to environmental health in Europe.

‘Excessive noise seriously harms human health and interferes with people’s every day activities in school, at work, at home and through leisure time,’ WHO explains.

‘It could disturb sleep, cause cardiovascular and psychophysiological effects, reduce performance and provoke annoyance responses and changes in social behaviour.’

Now, interactive maps have been developed by climate charity Possible as a part of its Automobile Free City campaign, revealing just how intense this noise could be in parts of London, Paris and Recent York

Decibels: The measurement of noise 

10 decibels – empty room

20 decibels – respiratory

30 decibels – whisper

40 decibels – stream

50 decibels – refrigerator

60 decibels – conversation

70 decibels – dishwasher

80 decibels – kitchen blender 

Source: Decibel Pro 

London

The London noise pollution map was created based on data from the environment department (DEFRA). 

‘With space for people and nature now at a greater premium in cities, an enormous amount of space, estimated at 31.9 km2 in London alone, is taken by cars – that is the equivalent of over 4000 football pitches,’ explained Andrew Simms, Automobile Free Megacities Advocacy & Communications Director on the Recent Weather Institute. 

The interactive map reveals how noise pollution levels are highest around lots of London’s major roads and airports. 

Parts of the M25 seem like the worst offenders, with sections around Heathrow Airport, Waltham Cross and  Upminster all recording a median noise intensity of 75 decibels – louder than a washer or a dishwasher. 

In contrast, roads in leafy suburbs have the bottom levels of air pollution in London, with roads in Woolwich, Orpington and Hendon recording a median noise intensity of lower than 40 decibels – quieter than a stream.  

‘The excellent news, nevertheless, among the many little to emerge from the traumatic experience of the Covid-19 pandemic, is that now we have seen how quickly a city like London, and several other of its boroughs can change,’ Mr Simms said.

‘Modern measures have shown the best way ahead to enhance air quality, make streets safer for walking, cycling and for youngsters playing, and to cut back traffic where people live. 

‘At the peak of the primary lockdown, air pollution in some UK cities dropped by as much as 60 per cent.’

The London noise pollution map was created based on data from the environment department (DEFRA). The interactive map reveals how noise pollution levels are highest around many of London's major roads and airports

The London noise pollution map was created based on data from the environment department (DEFRA). The interactive map reveals how noise pollution levels are highest around lots of London’s major roads and airports

London is one of the busiest modern cities in the world, and was named the seventh worst city for traffic jam in an analysis in 2017

London is one in every of the busiest modern cities on the earth, and was named the seventh worst city for traffic jam in an evaluation in 2017

What number of persons are affected by noise pollution in Europe? 

In keeping with the World Health Organisation:

– about 40% of the population in EU countries is exposed to road traffic noise at levels exceeding 55 db

– 20% is exposed to levels exceeding 65 dB in the course of the daytime

– and greater than 30% is exposed to levels exceeding 55 dB at night

Paris

The Paris map was developed using data from monitoring stations on the Rumeur network from Bruitparif. 

‘Like most major cities on the earth, Paris has traditionally favoured travel by automotive as its preferred technique of transportation,’ said Cathy Lamir, Automobile Free Megacities Paris Lead.

‘Cars still account for 50 per cent of public space, yet only 13 per cent of journeys are literally taken by automotive.’

The map reveals how, like London, Paris’ most important roads are the worst culprits for noise pollution. 

The A6B, A15 and A1 all have average noise levels of 75 decibels, shown as dark purple lines on the interactive map. 

Meanwhile, Paris’ parks have the bottom levels of noise pollution, with the Bois de Vincennes, Parc de Sceaux and Domaine de Grosbois all clocking levels of lower than 40 decibels. 

‘Paris is a city of remarkable assets; from its amazing metro system, to its buses, trams, bicycle services, electric scooters and 371 km of cycle lanes and counting, Ms Lamir added. 

‘Unlike many other cities, Paris is walkable. This implies visitors and residents alike can enjoy its beauty concurrently reducing air pollution. 

‘We want to make sure our strengths are being utilized quite than missed in favour of cars.’ 

The Paris map was developed using data from monitoring stations on the Rumeur network from Bruitparif. The map reveals how, like London, Paris' main roads are the worst culprits for noise pollution

The Paris map was developed using data from monitoring stations on the Rumeur network from Bruitparif. The map reveals how, like London, Paris’ most important roads are the worst culprits for noise pollution

'Like most major cities in the world, Paris has traditionally favoured travel by car as its preferred means of transportation,' said Cathy Lamir, Car Free Megacities Paris Lead

‘Like most major cities on the earth, Paris has traditionally favoured travel by automotive as its preferred technique of transportation,’ said Cathy Lamir, Automobile Free Megacities Paris Lead

Recent York City

Finally, the Recent York City map was developed using data from US DOT National Transportation Noise, and includes each road traffic and aircraft noise. 

While Recent York is little question a busy city, it has very low levels of automotive ownership. 

‘To a lot of Recent Yorkers it’s almost a moot query. 54 per cent of households don’t own a vehicle, with those percentages going up within the denser and more transit-heavy parts of the town similar to Brooklyn, where 56 per cent of households are car-free, and Manhattan, where a whopping 76 per cent of households are car-free,’ explained Doug Green, Automobile Free Megacities Recent York Lead.

‘Even in boroughs and neighborhoods where automotive ownership is higher, driving as a primary technique of transportation stays quite low; a majority of Queens households own cars, but 52 per cent of staff within the borough still commute via public transit.’

Finally, the New York City map was developed using data from US DOT National Transportation Noise, and includes both road traffic and aircraft noise

Finally, the Recent York City map was developed using data from US DOT National Transportation Noise, and includes each road traffic and aircraft noise

New York's famous leafy park, Central Park, is one of the quietest areas in the city, with levels of less than 40 decibels on average

Recent York’s famous leafy park, Central Park, is one in every of the quietest areas in the town, with levels of lower than 40 decibels on average

Children in areas with high noise pollution, usually tend to be OBESE, study suggests

Children living in areas of the country with higher levels of air pollution, noise and traffic usually tend to be obese, researchers claim.

A study of greater than 2,000 children in Sabadell, Spain explored these key environmental aspects and their impact on kid’s weight. 

Forty percent of the kids living in the town were chubby or obese on the time of the study, with urban aspects including pollution, noise and traffic guilty. 

The authors say that by understanding the mechanism of the connection between an urban environment and childhood obesity can result in the event of community-led health provisions to advertise healthier behaviours in a city. 

For that reason, noise pollution could be very much centred around Recent York’s two most important airports – JFK and LaGuardia – in addition to the roads that serve them.

Meanwhile, Recent York’s famous leafy park, Central Park, is one in every of the quietest areas in the town, with levels of lower than 40 decibels on average. 

‘When there are higher options – whether it is the subway, buses or one’s personal bicycle – people will select them,’ Mr Green added.

‘The challenge, after all, is that not all neighbourhoods are served equally by such options, and in a city as big as Recent York it doesn’t take large percentages of individuals selecting to get around by automotive to make life unpleasant for everybody else.’

Why is noise pollution such a problem?

Other than being irritating, studies have shown that noise pollution can have serious impacts on our health, with the World Health Organisation (WHO) now listing noise pollution as one in every of the largest threats to environmental health in Europe. 

‘Noise pollution just isn’t only an environmental nuisance but additionally a threat to public health,’ said Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe. 

In 2011, the WHO revealed latest evidence on the health effects of traffic-related noise in Europe. 

It warned that environmental noise results in disease burden that’s second only to air pollution. 

‘One in three people experiences annoyance in the course of the daytime and one in five has disturbed sleep at night due to noise from roads, railways and airports,’ the report said.

‘This increases the chance of cardiovascular diseases and hypertension.’

Meanwhile, a study published last week warned that noise pollution in schools can affect kid’s memory. 

Researchers from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health studied children attending 38 schools in Barcelona.

They found that children at schools with higher traffic noise had slower cognitive development.

‘Our study supports the hypothesis that childhood is a vulnerable period during which external stimuli similar to noise can affect the rapid technique of cognitive development that takes place before adolescence,’ said Jordi Sunyer, an creator of the study. 

What can we do to guard people from the results of noise pollution?

In keeping with Emilia Hanna, campaign manager for Automobile Free Megacities, there are several things that could be done to guard people from the results of noise pollution. 

‘First, there must be local and national improvements made to the monitoring and reporting of noise pollution in cities,’ she told MailOnline.

‘We also have to put in place a technique so as to address and reduce sources of noise pollution. 

‘Essentially the most pressing issue that we are able to take motion on, and in some ways now we have already began, is the reduction of traffic on our roads. 

‘Not only is traffic an enormous source of noise pollution, additionally it is making significant contributions to the UK’s carbon emissions. 

‘If we start ramping up efforts to cut back traffic by investing in improving public transport, encouraging a shift to energetic travel and reducing the variety of cars on our roads, it can make our streets safer, reduce noise and air pollution and help the climate in the method.’ 

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