Some trends fade fast because without noticing it a new stronger trend has entered the scene. Last year there was a tendency visible in Spain targeting the noise-pollution. Unfortunately, the trend lived only very short because two of two reasons.
The first reason is due to the construction and real-estate sector that is facing a decline. Since then a certain company that was commercializing “silent bricks,” left the stage too soon. Noises that are inherent to the quality of the construction of the buildings is one of the problems. New projects are constructed with these better quality bricks. If you live in a house of about 10 years old, it is quite normal that you can literally hear what your neighbors talk about. But the silent-brick trend has gone for a while.
The other trend became obsolete by the new environment policies that are becoming popular. The (especially Fujitsu) air conditioners commercialized their airco’s around a completely silent environment. Today this space has been claimed by the economic-air conditioners which save on energy. Silence is no longer a topic.
Yet noise is one of social problems in Spain. I like Spain and the Spanish society for being expressive and outward going. The flip side is the amount of noise that the same society produces. Just visit a public school in Spain during break-time and you know what I mean. A better indication that awareness is not yet a priority can’t be given: schools is where people should learn and change.
There is too little awareness of this problem. But new initiatives continue to stress the attention, like Bayer does by linking excessive noise with health problems:
“Bayer’s Spanish subsidiary has launched a campaign to reduce noise pollution. The Internet-based initiative was developed by Bayer experts in cooperation with specialists from Spanish universities and the health authorities.” ([http://www.bayer.com/en/spain.aspx])
Also the growth of cities and towns has made the problem become more of a real issue. The construction of houses, flats and commercial centers along the highway is no exception. This however has not led to demand to isolate the highway with sound-barriers. And that – again — due to a new trend: the economic downturn in Spain. The Spanish unemployment rate is growing faster than any other European country at the moment. The noise-pollution just has to wait for better times to get controlled.