Tackling the 21st century curse of noise pollution
As more people move to cities, noise pollution becomes an ever greater irritant. Taiwan is taking steps to lower it.
"Because of the property market boom, there are more buildings, restaurants and businesses. But at the same time, people's lives are more stressful now," said Mr Chou."They want a peaceful environment. They want a better quality of life. That's why we're making our regulations tougher." The problem stems from Taiwan's high population density. The island's population of 23m people is equivalent to that of Australia, but Taiwan is only a fraction of the size. Most Taiwanese live on just one third of the land; the rest is uninhabited mountains. With scarcity of land, there's little zoning - residences, businesses, offices and even some factories are mixed in the same neighbourhoods. On many streets, the first level of a building is crammed with shops, such as cafes, shoe stores, boutiques, wonton and dumpling eateries, bakeries, hair salons and drug stores. And on the pavements are peddlers hawking snacks. Above all of this are flats, offices, and more businesses.
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