Last week, I sent out a small survey to the presidents of the political parties that are competing for a place in the town hall of Zottegem in October. One responded already. It’s Groen (the Green party).
President Heidi Schuddinck states that the effect of an overdose of sound is less visible than death fish in a dirty river, but that the insidious effects of increasing background noise are not to be underestimated. Sound has a negative impact on the well-being of many people, she says: “In our increasingly busy lifes, we more than ever need our moments of rest and silence. Getting away from noisy cars, loud construction sites, ever-present music, and cell phones from time to time, is a healthy habit e.g. by taking a walk, preferably in a silent environment or a noise abatement zone.”
Good news is, that Heidi remembers that our town has been appointment as a candidate noise abatement zone, although nothing happened after that appointment. “Part of the region Brakel-Horebeke-Zottegem has been selected to become a silent zone, and there are several potential areas that could be used for this purpose”, knows Heidi.
Whether more trees could make the difference? Heidi has a nuanced statement on this topic: “The sound reduction of trees should not be overestimated, but trees, and green zones more generally, do have a de-stressing effect that reduces the impact of sound on people. And there is more that could be done: reducing the volume and period of festivals and open air music e.g., could be a simple gesture that helps our citizens to become more healthy”.
More info about Heidi: https://www.groenzottegem.be/heidi_schuddinck.