Danish Politicians Expect Residents to Cope with Unacceptable Noise Pollution from Metro Construction Site

Source: Cityringen åbner i 2018

The Copenhagen Post
reports about Metro construction noise pollution that creates havoc in the Copenhagen city center. The given construction site affects around 100 families who are exposed to extreme levels of noise pollution of up to 93 decibels – with the permitted noise level being 70 decibels. And inside the apartments, residents are exposed to a staggering 75 decibels.

If you consider that a 3 decibel-increase is perceived by humans as twice as loud, then you can imagine the impact 93 decibels can have on these residents’ health.

Danish newspaper Politiken spoke to Ture Anderson, an ear, nose and throat specialist at the hearing clinic Høreklinken in Odense, who said that such noise exposure can create serious stress “symptoms [which] could include memory loss, disturbed sleep patterns and high blood pressure”.

The solution that the responsible Metro construction company, Metroselskabet, has come up with is to offer ONE three-bedroom apartment that can accommodate twelve adults and four children at a time. Which obviously is madness since it does not provide any comfort to the 90-100 families that are affected by the noise.

And even more disturbing is the lack of empathy for the affected residents as demonstrated by local politicians. The city’s deputy mayor for employment and integration, Anna Mee Allerslev (Radikale), told Politiken that when undergoing such a massive project, some inconvenience will have to be tolerated.

“We need to be aware that in order for the Metroselskabet to progress with their work, certain waivers must be accepted in regards to noise pollution levels,” she said. “Then we can look into how to reduce construction noise in the future.”

Since the noise pollution clearly exceeds what’s allowed by health and safety regulations, serious mistakes are being made. Unfortunately, it seems to stem from a lack of knowledge and understanding about the consequences of noise on people and their health.

Elevating Sound urges local citizens to demand the following measures to be taken:

  1. The construction company Metroselskabet to invest in sound-absorbing walls to encapsulate the construction site in whatever way possible. Hopefully, Metroselskabet is legally accountable for ensuring that the site does not exceed the regulated noise limit. It’s time for buyers of construction services to be a lot more demanding.
  2. ALL residents affected to be offered alternative accommodation during the period that the noise pollution exceeds the allowed street noise level of 70 decibels.

It’s a disgrace how noise gets too little attention because of incompetence of local authorities, who are responsible for ensuring that the urban soundscape does not torture their citizens.

What are your thoughts on this? Any ideas on how to elevate noise pollution higher up on the agenda of authorities who are accountable for these types of construction projects?

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