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Revisiting the Concept of Quietness in the Urban Environment—Towards Ecosystems’ Health and Human Well-Being
Article

Quieted City Sounds during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Montreal

1
School of Information Studies, McGill University, Montreal, QC H3A 1X1, Canada
2
Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media and Technology, Montreal, QC H3A 1X1, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(11), 5877; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18115877
Received: 5 May 2021 / Revised: 23 May 2021 / Accepted: 26 May 2021 / Published: 30 May 2021
This paper investigates the transformation of urban sound environments during the COVID-19 pandemic in Montreal, Canada. We report on comparisons of sound environments in three sites, before, during, and after the lockdown. The project is conducted in collaboration with the Montreal festival district (Quartier des Spectacles) as part of the Sounds in the City partnership. The analyses rely on continuous acoustic monitoring of three sites. The comparisons are presented in terms of (1) energetic acoustic indicators over different periods of time (Lden, Ld, Le, Ln), (2) statistical acoustic indicators (L10, L90), and (3) hourly, daily, and weekly profiles of sound levels throughout the day. Preliminary analyses reveal sound level reductions on the order of 6–7 dB(A) during lockdown, with differences more or less marked across sites and times of the day. After lockdown, sound levels gradually increased following an incremental relaxation of confinement. Within four weeks, sound levels measurements nearly reached the pre-COVID-19 levels despite a reduced number of pedestrian activities. Long-term measurements suggest a ‘new normal’ that is not quite as loud without festival activities, but that is also not characterizable as quiet. The study supports reframing debates about noise control and noise management of festival areas to also consider the sounds of such areas when festival sounds are not present. View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental noise monitoring; urban sound environment; festival management; COVID-19; acoustic indicators; sound levels environmental noise monitoring; urban sound environment; festival management; COVID-19; acoustic indicators; sound levels
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MDPI and ACS Style

Steele, D.; Guastavino, C. Quieted City Sounds during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Montreal. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 5877. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18115877

AMA Style

Steele D, Guastavino C. Quieted City Sounds during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Montreal. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(11):5877. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18115877

Chicago/Turabian Style

Steele, Daniel, and Catherine Guastavino. 2021. "Quieted City Sounds during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Montreal" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 11: 5877. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18115877

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