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Soundscape Under Covid-19

Many around the world are experiencing life with very low noise levels due to restrictions as we are confined to our home and there is a decrease in the industrial, transportation and leisure activity. This provides a wonderful opportunity to quantify and record for the future the lower noise levels of our soundscapes. With the reduction in shipping there is also a change in the underwater soundscapes.

Nowadays there are a high number of noise monitoring systems (noise monitoring terminals, city wide systems, underwater systems etc.) installed all over the world which will capture this information for the future. However, there are many acousticians working from home with access to a sound level meter that can be used to capture the soundscape from their balcony or from their garden and compare the before and after the restrictions.

The IYS 2020 committee has provided a central contact between a number around the world who were thinking similarly that there would be some benefit in coordination and a little standardization in the capture of the data. Marçal Serra from CESVA has taken a lead to set up a LinkedIn group COVID-19 Noise Reduction (at www.linkedin.com/groups/13844820/) and with hashtag #COVID19NoiseReduction for any posts.

The following is a general structure for those who wish to participate and share their data in the future. But do not break your confinement to report this data!

  • Place: Country and city (e.g., Spain village near Barcelona)
  • Primary noise source: (e.g., Traffic noise: note number of lanes per direction or Social noise: note if café/bar/restaurant/sporting)
  • Noise measuring system: The noise measuring system used to measure LduringLbefore, and Lafter
  • Noise level during COVID-19 confinement: Lduring, expressed as a weighted overall level (preferably LAeq,1 hour), spectrum or psychoacoustic metrics as Loudness. It could also be reported as an image of the noise time history or a weekly color map and/or compiled into a report/article/conference paper with the measurement details and the comparison data
  • Noise level before & after COVID-19 confinement: Lbefore & Lafter, expressed in the same way as Lduring and over the same time period.
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