Peace and Quiet: We Reveal London’s Quietest Boroughs
Research suggests Tower Hamlets, Sutton and Waltham Forest are the quietest boroughs in London to live in. Using crowdsourced sound data from 4,000 decibel readings made across the capital, we have highlighted the quietest areas. The data is taken from WideNoise, an app where users can make decibel level readings on the go.
We found that at an average of 53.3 decibels (dB) from 44 recordings, the equivalent noise level to that of normal conversation, Tower Hamlets was the quietest borough. Sutton had the second lowest reading at an average of 53.8 dB from 33 readings, with the average recorded sound level never exceeding that found in a restaurant. Waltham Forest had the third lowest average, with an average recorded level of 56.1 dB from 34 readings.
While the average noise level across the entire city was 66 dB from more than 4,000 readings, around the same level as the average office, there are some urban oases where sound levels are barely at a whisper. In areas near Bushy Park in Kingston and Radnor Gardens in Richmond, decibel levels have been recorded as low as 29 dB, 16 times quieter than the London average.
Islington, at the other end of the scale, was the loudest borough with a recorded average decibel level of 77.2 dB from 20 recordings – about the same level as a dishwasher, factory floor or a freight train.
It might be expected that London’s noise levels would be much higher considering the number of visiting tourists and the city’s status as one of the world’s busiest cities. However, across London, average noise levels generally fall between that of a quiet suburb and an office, which is a testament to the city’s progressive attitude to preserving green spaces during a period of rapid urbanisation.
Two of the top ten quietest boroughs from the analysed sound data – Sutton (2nd) and Southwark (6th) – are home to Barratt London developments in New Mill Quarter and Blackfriars Circus respectively. The former will launch in summer 2018. Barnet, where Barratt London is building over 2,000 new homes at Hendon Waterside, Ridgeway Views, and Trinity Square, also falls below the London average at 64.1 dB.
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