Fighting Noise Pollution in Paris

fighting noise pollution in Paris

Paris, it was discovered, is the noisiest city in Europe. It has 5.5 million people, while London or Berlin are much smaller,  and this contributes to the noise level having become a public health issue. It interferes with people’s sleeping and in some cases with ordinary living such as talking or listening to music. As part of combating noise pollution a special program has installed  noise radars that are capable of detecting the noise levels and identify of the vehicle it is coming from. For now the radars called “medusas” are only in the 17th and 20th arrondissements. Once the program goes into effect after 2023 each offender will be fined 135 euros, a fine automatically sent to their home. Much of the noise comes from scooters and motorcycles souped up to increase the sounds they make. It is estimated that one  of these scooters can wake up as many as 10,000 people. The efforts are a continuation of  the city fighting noise pollution. The first noise plan was in place from 2015 to 2020 and implemented measures such as sound barriers  along the peripherique, the freeway that goes around  the city or the testing of an innovative low noise asphalt. Not only are Parisians upset by the noise levels, the Word Health Organization  attributes  excessive noise, above 55 decibels, to a whole range of health issues, including cardio vascular problems. Also France’s National Noise Council  has determined that excessive noise interferes with people’s sleep and productivity and costs the nation 147 billion euros each year. Other cities and other countries are watching France’s efforts in the hope of being able to import or adapt them. Anyone living in a large urban center can certainly appreciate the need to do something, anything about noise pollution.

2 thoughts on “Fighting Noise Pollution in Paris”

  1. Our problem with noise is drunk students returning when bars close at 2AM on the weekends! They pause right outside our bedroom windows to say a raucous goodnight before they head down a side street to one of the housing sites for students.

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