Brussels regional government has plans to make the city a quieter place, according to environment minister Céline Fremault. The detailed plan will be announced in September, she said, and is reported to contain measures such as increasing the Zone 30 areas around schools and hospitals.
The plan, titled Quiet Brussels, follows on from a study carried out by the Brussels environment agency in 2017, which looked at the impact of noise on health. The study found that one in two Brussels residents suffered from sleep disturbances, heart problems and high blood pressure as a result of noise.
A large part of the problem is traffic – on roads, rail and in the air, the study found. Every day, more than one in three of the population has to suffer higher levels of noise than are healthy – a level considered to be of 65 to 75 decibels. High noise levels were measured at 31% of homes, 18% of schools and 21% of hospitals.
Among measures other than extending the Zone 30 – which imposes a speed limit of 30 km/h in certain areas – Fremault is said to be considering noise-reducing road surfaces, quieter public transport fleets and support for quieter private vehicle companies such s delivery vans and taxis.