The European Soundscape Award 2013 - open for applications
Park in Blowing Rock Image © Kolin Toney
Exposure to environmental noise – defined as unwanted or harmful sound – is not only annoying, it can also lead to sleep disturbance and other health problems such as hypertension. Noise is associated with many human activities, but it is noise from traffic which has the highest health impact across Europe. Evidence shows that access to quiet environments or natural areas where people can listen to birds and the wind in the trees can have a positive effect on mental and physical health.
The European Environment Agency (EEA) and the Noise Abatement Societies of the Netherlands and UK want to raise awareness about the importance of a healthy soundscape and reward European initiatives in the field of noise control or soundscape management. From 24 April 2013, the International Noise Awareness Day, entries are invited for any product, campaign, innovation or scheme offering a creative solution to a noise problem. The award will be presented at a ceremony in Utrecht on 5th November 2013.
For more information on how to submit an application, visit the European Soundscape Award webpage. The deadline for submissions is 6th September 2013.
Last year’s winners
A German consortium led by the Technical University of Berlin won the European Soundscape Award 2012 for the remodelling of Nauener Platz, a city park in Berlin. The winning project used a range of measures to create a healthier soundscape, including:
• Building a 1.5 m sound barrier made of stone and plants.
• Installing devices in sculptures and benches which played recorded sounds of birds and water.
• Redesigning the park to include more attractive playgrounds, sports areas and green spaces which increased the lively sounds from human activities.
The runner-up award was presented to Estonian NGO Ökokratt for its educational project ‘Noise is not music’. The project raised awareness of the adverse impacts of noise among children and young people and involved more than 100 teachers and 30,000 children from 214 different schools.
About the International Noise Awareness Day
The Centre for Hearing and Communication founded International Noise Awareness Day to promote awareness of the dangers of long-term exposure to noise. This year the event takes place on 24th April.
Links to national initiatives
- The Noise Abatement Society - John Connell Awards
- Vi elsker stilhed – Stilhedsprisen
- Gouden Decibel
- Décibels d’Or
For references, please go to www.eea.europa.eu/soer or scan the QR code.
This briefing is part of the EEA's report The European Environment - State and Outlook 2015. The EEA is an official agency of the EU, tasked with providing information on Europe's environment.
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