Medusa Project: Microphone system to locate sources of noise pollution in Paris

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A “Jellyfish” will henceforth oversee the whole Paris, identifying (and punishing) all possible sources of noise pollution.

Anne Indalgo had set the bar high from the start: the mayor of the French capital had pledged in the run-up to the election that she wanted to improve both the image of Paris and the quality of life of its inhabitants, and has already made a number of important initiatives, such as measures to reduce the speed of cars on the roads.

The next measure is called “Medusa”. It is a system for detecting, through special sensors, all these sounds that exceed a certain decibel limit. The system is based on a combination of four microphones and two cameras mapping noise levels on every street in the French capital.

Such as reported by the international media, this system will detect the source of a noise pollution and with its cameras will take pictures of the license plates of the vehicle that produces the noise. The owner of the vehicle will then receive a notice of the infringement which will of course be accompanied by the a corresponding fine that will be in the order of a few tens of euros.

The truth is, however, that Indalgo could not do otherwise, especially in France where noise pollution is listed as the number two problem after air pollution. But also the The French, as a people, are particularly sensitive and strict on this issue, from their children (who teach them from a very young age not to raise their voice when they speak) to their common areas.

A recent one study by the non-profit organization Bruitparif has shown that for Paris noise pollution is a major problem that creates various types of health problems for its residents which cost 156 billion euros per year in the country’s economy (from absence from work to medical care). And of course, noise pollution, especially in the center, the “heart” of the capital, is affecting hundreds of thousands of Parisians, causing them to sleep problems, psychological problems but also cardiovascular diseases.

A study conducted in 2019 by the European Environment Agency inextricably links noise pollution with over 12,000 premature deaths across Europe and reports that one in five Europeans is very often exposed to extremely harmful sound levels that are detrimental to their mental and physical health.

The installation of “Medusa” on the streets of Paris will be discussed at the city council on October 12, while it should be mentioned here that the system is being used as a pilot from 2019 in a suburb of Paris.

Paris, a city friendly to its inhabitants

Indalgo not only has to brag about the “Medusa” project and this is because from 1the In September, Parisian drivers move at a tortoise pace as the 30km / h speed limit (from 50km / h) came into force.

The mayor has stated that this is a move aimed at reducing accidents, reducing emissions and noise pollution in the French capital.

According to the French media, the new speed limit is expected to strengthen the trend for cycling in the city, while at the same time being strongly supported by the majority of Parisians. 61% of the capital’s residents, according to a poll by the Ifop Institute, approves the initiative of the mayor.

“This restriction is linked to a major road safety issue, including for all motor vehicles,” he said. David Bellard, Deputy Mayor of Paris and responsible for the transformation of public space and transport.

In terms of improving air quality, there are of course all those opposing views that dispute that with this measure, cars will pollute the atmosphere less.

THE Tony Renucci, general manager of Respire, a state-owned air quality improvement organization, He points out in an interview with Liberation that he supports the initiative, but he has reservations about why this measure does not have a direct impact on air quality and it is important to remember this. Just because we will move at speeds instead of 50 km / h to 30 km / h does not mean that we will pollute less. “In cities where this has already been implemented (such as Lille, Grenoble, Milan, Madrid and Brussels) no conclusion has been reached on the issue of air quality, there are no data.”

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