Researchers at Chalmers University in Sweden have found an interesting and disturbing pattern. It is well known that loud noise distracts from work or other activities. But experiments have shown that even the slightest background noise can affect cognitive ability and concentration.
Even a low hum of 40dB in an office close to a road has a significant impact on concentration. This is one of the most serious problems in densely populated cities where buildings are located in close proximity to motorways.
In Luxembourg, this problem has been most acute in the capital. The traffic jams, the high number of inhabitants and the density of the buildings all have a negative impact on the background noise. The introduction of speed limits hasn't helped either. According to the same study, the noise can even increase when cars move more slowly.
As our society continues to prioritize comfort and quality of life, the issue of noise pollution is gradually gaining attention in various sectors, including construction and design. Recognizing the detrimental effects of excessive noise on well-being, builders are likely to incorporate soundproofing measures more extensively into their designs in the near future.
Innovations in materials and technology are expected to play a crucial role in the development of more effective soundproofing solutions. In the future, we may witness the emergence of denser surfaces that have the ability to absorb and dissipate sound waves with greater efficiency. These advanced materials could provide enhanced acoustic insulation, reducing the transmission of noise from one space to another.
While Luxembourg faces its share of noise-related challenges, it is important to note that the country does not hold the title for the noisiest country in Europe. According to a comprehensive Eurostat study conducted in 2020, only 19.7% of Luxembourg's residents reported complaints about noise. These noise issues were not solely limited to road traffic but also included disturbances from neighboring properties, machinery, and various other sources.
In the European rankings, Luxembourg occupies the 8th position in terms of noise pollution. Surprisingly, the country that claims the top spot is Malta.