Effects of COVID-19 lockdown in Milan urban and Rome suburban acoustic environments: Anomalous noise events and intermittency ratio

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Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic affected the acoustic environment worldwide, entailing relevant reductions of equivalent noise levels (LAeq) during this exceptional period. In the context of the LIFE+ DYNAMAP project, two wireless acoustic sensor networks were deployed in Milan and Rome. Taking advantage of the built-in identification of anomalous noise events (ANE) in the sensors, this work analyses the effects of the COVID-19 lockdown in both urban and suburban acoustic environments from January to June 2020, considering the distribution of ANEs and the intermittency ratio (IR) as an indicator of the impact of noise on population. The results show statistically significant increments of ANEs in Rome during the lockdown, mainly on weekends, and especially at night, despite the significant decrease in salient events. Differently, ANEs decrease during the lockdown in Milan, mostly at daytime, as a result of population confinement. Although the IR increases in several urban locations, most sensed locations show a relevant decrease in IR during the confinement, which represents a noteworthy reduction of the negative impact of noise in the population of both cities. During the post-lockdown period, all the scores start to return to those observed in the pre-lockdown, but still remaining higher than in 2019.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1676-1683
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Volume151
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022

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