Hong Kong's noise pollution needs taking seriously
South China Morning Post
Noise pollution in Hong Kong needs no research to show how serious the problem is.
Noise pollution in Hong Kong needs no research to show how serious the problem is. The pounding din of jackhammers, blaring of horns by agitated drivers, incessant drilling from renovations next door, loud phone conversation on public transport - the evidence is everywhere. However unpleasant it is, noise is considered part of city life, something that has to be put up with in a busy place like ours. Although the exposure to noise is arguably less damaging than breathing filthy air, that does not mean the problem does not warrant public attention and improvement. Excessive noise can lead to more than impaired hearing and insomnia. The need for more action is just as pressing.
Full appraisal of how serious the problem is will be a helpful step. This can be achieved by collating and analysing the noise-related complaints filed by the public. A designer in New York has produced a map of the city's noise topography, based on noise complaint details available on the city's Open Data website. Lauded as a work of art because of its visual impact, the project showed a striking disparity between rich and poor districts, which suggested noise in areas for the rich was handled by the authorities more seriously.