The Noisy Drone Of Airplanes At Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport Is Cleverly Controlled With?
Answer: A Large Public Park
Southwest of downtown Amsterdam there is a lovely 80 acre public park known as the Buitenschot Land Art Park. The most prominent feature of the park is the enormous trenches and ridges that create criss-crossing bike paths, frame sport fields, and otherwise give the park a distinct and interesting geometric appearance.
The park isn’t art for the sake of art though (however cool the end result might be). The site was carefully selected and groomed by the Schiphol Group, the controlling interest behind the very busy Schiphol Airport that serves as a major transit hub in the region and averages 1,600 flights a day. Why invest the money in a massive public park when your primary business is air travel? Because the quieter you can keep your airport, the more planes you can pump through it without raising the ire of all the people living around the airport. The cleverly designed park is actually an enormous acoustic baffle that decreases the sound of low-drone engine noise by 50 percent, radically cutting down on the noise pollution generated by the airport.
What’s even more fascinating is how they came up with the idea in the first place. The Schiphol Group brought in a team of researchers to study the airport and surrounding area to determine feasible noise mitigation solutions. The researchers found that in the fall, after farmers on the numerous farms in the area around the airport had harvested their crops and plowed their fields, the noise levels decreased significantly around the airport. Further study found that the ridged patterns across the plowed fields were acting as deflectors for the soundwaves and both absorbing and reflecting the sound up and away from the people on the ground.
Building on that finding, they commissioned a team of landscape artists and an artist to design a sprawling public park that featured enormous ridges to absorb and deflect the sound. The park proved to be quite a success and local residents not only got relief from the noise, but a beautiful outdoor space in the process.
Image courtesy of the Schiphol Group.