“Leuven is a party city” says alderman Thomas Van Oppens. “That’s nice, but also means a lot of noise disturbance at night. That’s a pain for people who need to appear fit for work the following day. As European Capital of Innovation in the next few months we will experiment with innovative techniques to address noise disturbance at night”.
Noise disturbance is above all an issue in streets people use going to and returning from a night out. Seven noise metres are being placed in the Naamsestraat, one of these streets. Several restaurants have meters outside too. The meters don’t record conversations, but analyse noise levels at night.
“We also asked residents to use the app to let us know how they experience noise at night. By combining results of noise analysis and information from the app we can learn which noises are seen as a nuisance”.
In a following phase nudging techniques will be used to reduce nuisance noise: lights can be dimmed or a message can be projected on the ground.
“We can also turn on lighting in some houses to let people know they have woken somebody up. We also want to see the impact of the weather and of organised events on noise disturbance.”