Noise Pollution and Mitigation in Urban Developments

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  • Topic: Noise pollution, Pollution, Roadway noise
  • Pages : 8 (3121 words )
  • Download(s) : 88
  • Published : December 14, 2011
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When the topic of pollution comes about, most people usually attribute it to air pollution. Air pollution is usually the first thing people think of because it is the highly debated form of pollution that occurs in most urban settings. What some people may not realize is that it is only one form of pollution that takes place. Pollution also exists in soil, water, light and noise. While these topics are known, some are not as readily discussed as much as the others. Noise pollution is often a topic not mentioned though is a problem in a lot of cities in the world. Through many years, many cities have seen the problem and have either added to it or made solutions to contain or reduce it. Noise pollution, while not always the most prevalent form of pollution discussed, is an important factor in the sustainability of a city and its citizens.

In order to begin to discuss how noise pollution is important to the city it has to be defined. The definition of the word “noise” according to the Merrian-Webster’s dictionary is “any sound that is undesired or interferes with one's hearing of something.” So for something to be polluted of noise is for it to be disturbed by sounds from someone or something. You can attribute the phrase “noise pollution” to just about anything. If you are in a crowded room with everyone talking, the room is being polluted by noise. This same concept comes when you are defining noise pollution to a city. What in a city causes it to be surrounded by noise? In reality, almost everything in a city in one way or another contributes to noise pollution.

Around the world, most major cities have tried their best to add all the things that most other major cities have and sustain it as best as possible. Things like public transportation, land usage, businesses, and highways are just certain factors that are made to create a city into a striving place that can prosper and be a model to other areas of interest. All these things bring the problem that most major cities face, including noise pollution. So what are the biggest factors that contribute to air pollution? The biggest contributors are when cities are nearby highways with traffic, airports, railroads, manufacturing plants or factories, areas of construction or destruction and even things like open concert venues (Mayntz). Most cities have these structures centralized in their areas or very close to the area. Something these parts of the city have in common is amount of noise they produce. Vehicles in highways are making noise while they drive, planes with huge engines leaving and entering airports have high rates of sound, construction and destruction is noisy, trains are loud, factories usually have some noise from machinery and concerts are meant to play loud music. All these factors combined create in themselves a single loud noise that can surround their area. Though noise is a daily occurrence in most people’s lives, it is important that we see why it is a problem amongst people and a city as a whole. What some people don’t realize is that noise pollution is like air pollution and water pollution. It can have effects on the health and mental state of people living in and around cities that have issues with it. There have been many studies that have linked noise pollution with different type of health issues. Many people who live near cities that have high amounts of noise pollution often incur stress related illnesses, high blood pressure, hearing loss, sleep reduction, and even speech interference (EPA 1). Perhaps the most evident health issue that people have Noise Induced Hear Loss, or NIHL. Though many things in someone’s life can lead to a reduction in their hearing, many connections have been made toward noise pollution in cities have made the likeliness of it more prevalent (Suter 14). While noise pollution will not cause these things in everyone who lives near city or goes to one a lot in their life, the...
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