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      How did the ‘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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      UCL Open Environment

      UCL Press

      acoustic environment, noise level, residential area, state of emergency in Japan, lockdown, COVID-19 pandemic, built environment, urban studies

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          The COVID-19 pandemic caused lockdowns in many countries worldwide. Acousticians have made surveys to monitor how cities became quieter under the lockdown, mainly in central areas in cities. However, there have been few studies on the changes in the acoustic environment due to the pandemic in the usually 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 lockdowns elsewhere. Considering these circumstances, this article reports the results of noise monitoring and makes some observations on the acoustic environment in residential areas far 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 less 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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          Most cited references 7

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          An open-science crowdsourcing approach for producing community noise maps using smartphones

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            A Taxonomy Proposal for the Assessment of the Changes in Soundscape Resulting from the COVID-19 Lockdown

            Many countries around the world have chosen lockdown and restrictions on people’s mobility as the main strategies to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. These actions have significantly affected environmental noise and modified urban soundscapes, opening up an unprecedented opportunity for research in the field. In order to enable these investigations to be carried out in a more harmonized and consistent manner, this paper makes a proposal for a set of indicators that will enable to address the challenge from a number of different approaches. It proposes a minimum set of basic energetic indicators, and the taxonomy that will allow their communication and reporting. In addition, an extended set of descriptors is outlined which better enables the application of more novel approaches to the evaluation of the effect of this new soundscape on people’s subjective perception.
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              The COVID-19 global challenge and its implications for the environment – what we are learning

               Francesco Aletta,  Dan Osborn (corresponding) ,  Daniel Osborn (2020)

                Author and article information

                UCL Open Environ
                UCL Open Environment
                UCL Open Environ
                UCL Press (UK )
                12 August 2020
                : 2
                [1 ]Environmental Acoustics Laboratory, Department of Architecture, Graduate School of Engineering, Kobe University, Rokko, Nada, Kobe 657-8501, Japan
                Author notes
                *Corresponding author: Email: saka@
                © 2020 The Authors.

                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.

                Page count
                Figures: 9, References: 14, Pages: 9
                This work received no external funding.
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                2020-09-23 15:24 UTC

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