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Where Does Your City Stack Up In The World’s Noise Rankings?

In a recent project performed alongside their “Going Car Free 2022” campaign, UK-based climate action charity Possible has created a series of interactive noise maps for some of the western world’s most famous cities: New York, Paris, and London. Possible’s findings give us a deeper insight into the results of the United Nations’ Frontiers 2022 report, which analysed noise as an emerging environmental health issue. Together, the data from these sources give us interesting new insights on the sources and consequences of nuisance noise in major cities, and how those cities can work towards resolving the impacts of noise on their residents. So how does your city stack up? Let’s look at the data and see which cities are performing the best in reducing nuisance noise.

Urban Noise Sources

In both Possible’s noise maps and the U.N.’s report, the overwhelming majority of nuisance noise was found to come from two sources: cars and planes. In London’s noise map, the highest densities and volumes of noise were found at Heathrow Airport, with the M25 motorway coming in at a close second, particularly around the areas of Waltham Cross and Upminster. These trends hold true across both the New York and Paris maps – in New York, J.F.K. and LaGuardia airports and the major roads that service them were the loudest, while Paris’s A1, A15, and A6B motorways held pole position on their