Incessant noise is a constant part of big city life, but noise pollution poses a serious risk to people's health. To address the problem, Turkey recently started installing barriers in areas with high concentrations of noise.
Environment and Urban Development Minister Murat Kurum said they plan to install 60,000 square meters (645,834 square feet) of barriers by 2023, the centenary of the Republic of Turkey. Kurum spoke to reporters on Monday during a visit to Ümraniye Public Garden, a new park in the eponymous district of Istanbul where one of the noise barriers is located. The barrier curbs the noise from the adjacent highway. “Istanbul is among the five noisiest cities in the world according to data by the World Health Organization (WHO). We are working to decrease the noise here. Our ministry provided a fund of TL 5 million (around $676,000) to the local municipality for setting up barriers and mapping noise pollution,” he said.
Barriers are also planned for other highways straddling the city. “The installation of a 1,300-meter long, 4.5-meter high barrier is almost complete here in Ümraniye Public Garden,” he said. “The noise from the highway was 132 decibels and with barriers, it decreased to 60 decibels, a level that would not harm human health,” Kurum underlined.