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      How did "state of emergency" declaration in Japan due to the COVID-19 pandemic affect the acoustic environment in a rather quiet residential area?

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          The COVID-19 pandemic caused lockdown in many countries. Acousticians made surveys to monitor how cities became quieter under the lockdown, mainly in the central areas of cities. However, there have been few studies on changes in the acoustic environment due to the pandemic in rather quieter residential areas. It may be expected to be different from the effect in originally noisy areas. Also, the effect could be different in Japan, because the "state of emergency" declaration there was different to lockdown. Considering these circumstances, this paper reports the results of noise monitoring and makes some observations on the acoustic environment in residential areas remote from city centres, to provide an example of how the acoustic environment was affected by the "state of emergency" declaration due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan. The results showed that the reduction of noise levels was somewhat smaller than that reported in large cities. Also, comparing the results after the cancellation of the "state of emergency", the noise level increased again. However, observations of noise sources imply that a possible change in human behaviour may have also affected the acoustic environment.

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          Author and article information

          UCL Open: Environment Preprint
          UCL Press
          17 July 2020
          [1 ] Kobe University

          This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

          No No

          The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

          Earth & Environmental sciences, Engineering, Architecture

          Acoustic Environment, Noise Level, Residential Area, State of Emergency in Japan, Lockdown, COVID-19 Pandemic , Built environment, Urban studies


          Decision date: 20/7/2020

          Handling Editor: Francesco Aletta

          The article has been accepted and it is suitable for publication in UCL Open: Environment.

          2020-09-23 15:26 UTC
          One person recommends this

          Date: 17/7/2020

          Handling Editor: Francesco Aletta

          The Article has been revised, this article remains a preprint article and peer-review has not been completed.

          2020-09-23 15:26 UTC

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