Reducing Noise with Green Space - New Briefing
This new briefing from the IOA outlines how soft surfaces like meadows, parks, fields, gardens and lawns help to reduce sound levels. It compares their impact to surfaces that are not porous such as pavements, roads, car parks and buildings - which reflect most of the sound arriving at them and tend to increase sound levels. At a time when tree planting and ‘rewilding’ are being widely advocated to help to combat climate change and preserve and increase biodiversity, reduce urban heat, and reduce flood risk, there is increasing evidence that ‘greening’ and ‘rewilding’ open spaces can also offer lower noise levels. Careful planting can be used to reduce noise and enhance soundscapes. The drive to improve biodiversity alongside development has the potential for positive benefits, both in reducing noise and the perception of noise and will require some different approaches to noise assessment. This includes the opportunity to improve health and quality of life by enhancing soundscapes to support a heathy natural world and better place for humans to live.