Environment

The creation, accumulation and diffusion of knowledge are processes at the heart of technological change and economic growth. Scientific and technological expertise acquired in the past strongly determines future development opportunities, but also sets limitations in this regard. While this applies universally, regardless if considered at the personal, corporate, or spatial level, it is of particular interest in the context of cities and regions given that these entities serve as containers of unique knowledge pools. Guided by evolutionary principles and advanced spatial analysis approaches, and paired with multi-dimensional datasets, this research pillar aims to open up a new research frontier in science and technology studies, as well as to support the development of new planning and forecasting tools for progressive strategic innovation policies that translate in wide-spread advancement and prosperity.
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Investigating changes in noise pollution due to the COVID-19 lockdown: The case of Dublin, Ireland

Noise pollution is considered to be the third most hazardous pollution after air and water pollution by the World Health Organization (WHO). Short as well as long-term exposure to noise pollution has several adverse effects on humans, ranging from psychiatric disorders such as anxiety and depression, hypertension, hormonal dysfunction, and blood pressure rise leading to cardiovascular disease. One of the major sources of noise pollution is road traffic and the WHO reports that around 40 % of Europe’s population are currently exposed to high noise/sound levels. This study investigates sound levels in Dublin, Ireland before and after the lockdown imposed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The analysis was performed using measured hourly data from 12 noise monitoring stations between January and May, 2020. More than 80 % of the stations recorded high sound levels for more that 60 % of the time before the lockdown in Dublin. However, a significant reduction in hourly average equivalent sound and hourly minimum sound levels was observed at all stations during the lockdown period and this can be attributed to reductions in both road and air traffic movements.

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Investigating changes in noise pollution due to the COVID-19 lockdown: The case of Dublin, Ireland

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Dieter F. Kogler
Francesco Pilla