Download here the SILENCE Practitioner Handbook for Local Noise Action Plans - The SILENCE tool for noise abatement

 

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Towards the sound of SILENCE in European cities

SILENCE, a three-year research project co-funded by the European Commission, has developed an integrated methodology for the improved control of surface transport noise in urban areas. Now that the project has come to its end, it has unveiled world-leading technologies and innovative strategies to reduce noise both from rail and road in European cities and for European citizens.

What’s wrong with noise?

Research shows that noise can kill, [...]

European noise policy

Although noise limits have become increasingly stringent over the years, no corresponding reduction in noise levels in urban areas has been observed. [...]

Results of the SILENCE Project

The SILENCE project aims to implement the European policy objectives [...]
Presentations given at SILENCE Final Conference in Bergisch Gladbach on 28-29 May 2008
SILENCE project outcomes

SILENCE e-learning...

What’s wrong with noise?

Research shows that noise can kill, as it increases the risks for high blood pressure and heart attacks (3% of heart attacks in Germany are due to road traffic noise). Noise disturbs sleep and heavily impacts on people’s quality of life. Besides its health and social costs, noise has economic consequences in terms of reduced housing value and taxes, as it is a relevant reason for people to move out of cities into suburban areas. Therefore, policy developments and research on noise abatement are moving up on the European political agenda.

European noise policy

Although noise limits have become increasingly stringent over the years, no corresponding reduction in noise levels in urban areas has been observed. Therefore, European noise policy has been revised to focus on noise perception, to avoid the harmful effects of noise exposure from all sources, and to preserve quiet areas. A European Directive on Environmental Noise was adopted in 2002 to guide and steer activities on noise in EU Member States and large conurbations in the coming years and provide them with a common basis for tackling the noise problem across the EU.

Results of the SILENCE Project

The SILENCE project aims to implement the European policy objectives in a comprehensive way, by addressing all aspects of surface transport noise in cities.

Annoyance and noise perception have been studied in depth. In this respect, the project unveils cultural differences concerning annoyance due to traffic noise, explains why trams are acoustically better accepted than buses, etc. New technological solutions have been developed for quieter road and rail vehicles, rail infrastructure, road surface and vehicle-tyre-road interaction. A sound synthesis software has also been developed to optimise and simulate the noise reduction of a train or car pass-by.

In addition, SILENCE provides a toolkit to reduce noise through traffic management and in-vehicle driver support systems, as well as a roadside monitoring system for vehicle noise, which can be used for enforcing noise control and accessing control systems.

Finally, tools have been elaborated to help city planners to reduce local noise, in accordance with the European Directive on Environmental Noise.