What is "De Oorzaak"?

You may not always be aware of it, but sound is everywhere. From chirping birds to roaring fighter jets, from the rustling of trees to the passing of a car. The sound around you is referred to as environmental noise. "De Oorzaak" is a groundbreaking citizen study organized by De Morgen, UAntwerpen, and UZA, which aims to investigate the impact of environmental noise on the quality of life in urban areas. The goal of this research is to gain a better understanding of how the perception of sound and sound quality in urban environments is experienced and to examine its impact on public health.

Why a study on environmental noise?

Environmental noise has a significant influence on our well-being and quality of life. A pleasant acoustic environment contributes to relaxation, concentration, and social interaction. Excessive, intense, or simply disturbing noise, on the other hand, can have negative effects on your health. A report from the World Health Organization (WHO) mentions stress, sleep disorders, and even hearing loss. With "De Oorzaak," we aim to map the experience of environmental noise and investigate its impact on the well-being of citizens.

Citizen scientists drive the research

This study is conducted using smart sound sensors equipped with built-in AI modules (artificial intelligence). These sensors enable real-time and on-the-spot analyses: they can immediately identify the source of the sound. Through a connection to the Orange Belgium network, the sensors transmit their data to the researchers' database and the participants' personal dashboard. In this way, scientists and citizens monitor the sound in their immediate living environment. These objective sound measurements are linked to questionnaires to quantify the impact of environmental noise on overall quality of life. In addition, participants are selected for objective measurements, such as sleep studies, stress measurements, and activity trackers, to gain more knowledge about the impact of environmental noise on an individual's well-being.

Support "De Oorzaak"

With the collaboration of thousands of citizens, we are making "De Oorzaak" the largest sound monitoring network in Flanders. Such a network is essential because much of our current knowledge about sound propagation is based on models and simulations. Our smart sensors can help validate and improve these simulations. Moreover, thanks to our questionnaires, we can link the sensor data to how sound is actually experienced. This provides researchers and policymakers with crucial data about the extent of our noise problems and effective solutions. By contributing to "De Oorzaak," you are contributing to the promotion of better quality of life in urban environments. Want to learn more? Visit the "De Oorzaak" website.

A financial contribution can also help "De Oorzaak" further, so support today the largest citizen study on the impact of environmental noise in Flanders.

Support this fund 

Would you like to get involved by supporting the project ‘De Oorzaak’? You can contribute by wiring a donation to the University of Antwerp.

There are two ways to donate:

  1. By bank transfer to bank account number BE42 7310 4624 7854 in the name of 'Universiteit Antwerpen'. Be sure to mention 'fiscaal attest' (tax certificate) and your preferred destination, in this case: ‘ De Oorzaak', in the communication field.
  2. By online payment, where you can indicate your preferred destination straight away.

Tax relief

Did you know that donations of 40 euros or more are 45 % tax deductible? This is an extra incentive to provide maximum support!

In order to allocate your donation correctly, we recommend you to also send us the donation form where you indicate your preference for the destination of the amount again.

Send the filled in form:

  1. digitally: email it to universiteitsfonds@uantwerpen.be ( a scan or photo are sufficient)
  2. by post:  Universiteitsfonds Antwerpen - Middelheimlaan 1 M.A.223 - 2020 Antwerpen