Friday, 27 February 2009

Quieter tyres for cars

A political agreement has been reached in the EU to introduce quieter tyres for cars. Rolling resistance will also be improved, leading to better energy efficiency. However tyres for HGV's are largely unaffected, which means that noise levels by the busiest roads, like urban motorways, will continue to cause problems for residents living nearby them.
This decision has led to protests from environmental lobbying groups like Transport and Environment who argue that an opportunity has been missed to address the problems of traffic noise that are estimated to affect the health of 210 million Europeans.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Video Shoot Part 2

I spent yesterday out in Bristol with the Artswork students and colleagues from corporate consultation. The students were filming their three short viral films for promotion on the Citizenscape website and we were vox popping people on the street nearby.
We managed to get an interesting mix of people from young mums to dog walkers and local students. The day started near Arno's Court on the Bath Road where the traffic noise was pretty loud. The next location was on a traffic island at Three Lamps. The noise here is probably as high as anywhere in the city, with traffic from the A37 and A4 on either side. We vox - popped some lunchtime workers at Temple Quay, which was a much more sedate affair and then off to the peace and quiet of Victoria Park in Bedminster, although a grounds worker was using a chain saw quite close by!
I've put some photos from the day on my flickr site.
I'm really looking forward to seeing the videos the students produce, they were really enthusiastic and professional.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Video Shoot

The Artswork students will be shooting the promotional videos for the citizenscape website on the morning of 24th Feb. I've identified some possible locations for the videos as shown in the map below. BCC staff will be there vox - popping the public.

View Larger Map

Monday, 16 February 2009

Noise Research in Bristol

A Masters student at the Forest of Dean council is conducting some research in Bristol using our noise map. Matt Kirby is expanding on the work done by the Sustainable City Team at Bristol City Council to assess the relationship between the modelled noise levels, measured in Lden and the community annoyance. The work goes beyond the approach used in the Quality of Life survey to ask detailed information from residents at a selected number of properties from each noise band strata to establish the severity of annoyance and identify the relative importance of acoustic and non acoustic factors.
The properties were identified using the road noise map and the noise level at each property was calculated using GIS techniques. Bristol's Land and Property Gazetteer was then used to extract the addresses of the properties and the properties were then sorted into their noise bands, e.g. 50 - 55 dB(A).
Matt has submitted his proposal and is currently designing the questionnaire. This research will help Bristol City Council to understand the severity of the noise issue in one of the noisiest parts of the city (M32 environs) and inform the emerging noise strategy.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Artswork Commissioned for Citizenscape Video

Back in January, we commissioned Artswork media to make three short "viral" videos to go onto the Citizenscape website. The purpose of these videos is to engage people with the noise issue and to do this they need to be provocative, exciting and unusual. We agreed that short videos in rotation would be the best option. I had a meeting with the students, and their tutor, Nic Jeune to discuss some options. I was really impressed with the students' ideas and I expect some great output from this collaboration. It will certainly be more engaging than a video of me talking about traffic noise...

The Artswork media lab is part of Bath Spa University and located in the Paintworks estate just off Bath Road. It's a fantastic facility for digital media production (and very handy for Bocabar..).

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Bristol Streets Noise Map

Last week the "quiet places" layer of went live. This incorporates the noise map - also available in a variety of different formats on the main Bristol CC website. Where it really adds value however is the ability to interact with the map by adding your own favourite quiet place - or a place which could be quiet if, for example, traffic were to be calmed. This will support our consultation work on Citizenscape by building a map of valued tranquil spaces and getting people to think about noise, and hopefully participate in the online discussions at AskBristol.

Screenshot of Bristolstreets

The map was developed by a local company - Logogriph Ltd.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Noise word cloud

Thanks to my colleague Antony for pointing me to which creates a "Word Cloud" for any text you put into it. Here is the one for this blog..