traffic noise

 

The ugly concrete slabs that line urban highways might seem like a necessary evil. Without them, anyone living nearby would have to deal with traffic noise that was twice as loud.

In Amsterdam, the government is experimenting with a different way to block out the sound of passing trucks and cars that still cut noise but are less unsightly. Light, renewable bamboo, it turns out, might work as well as tons of concrete—and possibly even better.

Living in an area with noisy road traffic may reduce life expectancy, according to new research published in the European Heart Journal.

The findings suggest a link between long-term exposure to road traffic noise and deaths, as well as a greater risk of stroke, particularly in the elderly. The research was led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in partnership with Imperial College London and King's College London.

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What is the value of clean air? Answering such a question may be achieved by asking citizens how much they are willing to pay. However, some individuals give ‘protest vote’ responses to such questions. Recent research in EU countries found that the main reasons for this were because they felt that the polluters themselves or the government should be responsible for such costs.

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Networks of wireless sensors could be used to monitor traffic noise. A new study shows that the wifi sensor systems, although slightly less accurate than precision noise monitoring systems, can provide detailed information, with dense coverage, about traffic noise over a longer period. Their low cost and low energy requirements make them particularly suitable and attractive for use by local authorities or even community groups.