Just past the edge of the runway of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, there’s a series of hedges and ditches laid out like interlocking diamonds. The 80-acre green space is the Buitenschot Land Art Park. Its trenches and ridges hold bike paths and sports fields, but its main purpose is to deflect ground noise, the low-frequency drone that planes make when they take off and land.
Airport noise is a contentious issue. There have been noise-related protests at both LaGuardia and JFK, and the FAA is undertaking its first airport noise study in 25 years. The National Parks Service studied 600 different wilderness sites and found they were all impacted by ambient noise. NPS estimates that noise pollution is doubling every 20 years.
Measures like the one taken at Schiphol Airport may slow that rate down.
Read more at Smithsonian here.