Flickr has a good slection of photographs of noise barriers – but not many of them are structures one would want to have at the foot of one’s garden, except perhaps for the purpose of reducing noise nuisance. The Wiki entry on noise barriers states simply that: “A noise barrier (also called a soundwall, sound berm, sound barrier, or acoustical barrier) is an exterior structure designed to protect sensitive land uses from noise pollution.” It’s not enough. Noise barriers should also contribute to other objectives and help make ‘new landscapes for our new lives’ (Nan Fairbrother) which are beautiful, sustainable, microclimat, ecological etc. If sustainable landscape architecture is to have the glorious future it deserves, the results must be beautiful as well as useful. For more information on the landscape treatment of noise barriers see: Environmental Noise Barriers by Benz Kotzen Colin English.
Image of North Laurel – MD216 approaching Leishear Rd courtesy of thisisboss.