New measures to cut noise pollution in areas where levels are highest

Noise is the environmental factor which has the second biggest impact on people’s health, just behind air pollution. Because of this, the districts of Ciutat Vella, Sant Martí, Sants-Montjuïc, Eixample and Gràcia are set to activate plans to cut noise in the areas most susceptible to it.

13/07/2022 11:11 h

Ajuntament de Barcelona

The measures come after sound meters were used in recent weeks to analyse noise levels recorded in different streets and squares in the city. The results show that noise levels at the points monitored consistently exceed the permitted levels at night by 3 decibels.

Noise levels were measured in these locations: Carrer d’Enric Granados, Plaça de George Orwell, Carrer de Joaquim Costa, Carrer d’Almirall Churruca, Rambla del Poblenou, Carrer de Rogent, Carrer de l’Allada Vermell, Carrer Nou de la Rambla, Plaça d’Osca, Triangle Lúdic, Plaça del Sol, Plaça de la Virreina and Plaça de la Revolució.

The data obtained mean these spots can be classed as areas under pressure from noise at night, enabling noise reduction plans can be applied and adapted to the specific needs of each location.

The process forms part of the Plan with Measures against Noise Pollution 2022-2023, which sets out a series of actions to reduce the impact of noise in Barcelona.

New checks in other places

Besides the locations mentioned, more noise-level checks are planned with sound meters in other places in the city, such as the Jardins de la Mediterrània, in Sants-Montjuïc, and Carrer d’Hilari Salvadó, in Ciutat Vella.

The goal is to measure noise levels at night in these spots, check if they exceed the legal limits and whether the corresponding district offices also need to apply specific measures.

Other areas where sound meters are currently installed and where noise levels have found to be excessive are: Carrer de Blai in Sants- Montjuïc; Carrer de Manuel Ribé in Ciutat Vella, and the squares of Diamant, Raspall, Joanic and Vila de Gràcia.

Updated picture of the reality of noise

Work is currently in progress to revise the city’s noise capacity map and establish thresholds for permitted noise levels. The process should check the noise landscape taking into account the uses of each street section, then set the noise levels to be achieved accordingly.

The city’s new noise map aims to be more realistic, up-to-date and better adapted to the reality of the city.

Awareness campaign

Work to analyse noise levels and limit them is being accompanied by an awareness campaign about noise at night, entitled “At Night, Respect”, along with information staff in streets and squares.