Community noise is one of today´s most severe environmental pollutants, which makes noise induced annoyance an essential problem in our modern and complex society.
Our transportation systems constitute one of the major noise sources adversely influencing nearby residents. Only road and rail traffic noise will expose 20-30 % of European population to excessive noise levels [Lden ≥ 60 dB(A)]. In terms of people affected and considering its total adverse effects, these forms in our opinion one of the more severe environmental problems of today.
Access to efficient mobility remains a basic human need and is an essential prerequisite in order to maintain a high employment and economic prosperity. Therefore it is essential to find technical solutions that ensure a high degree of protection against noise especially for residents in urban areas so that a high quality of the needed mobility can be maintained.
Preserving quiet areas and achieving high levels of health and quality of life are important objectives of the European Commission. In view of that the European Commission adopted an Environmental Noise Directive in 2002 to achieve comparable data and measures for all member states in order to assess and hopefully reduce noise within cities in the EU. In support to the directive the project “Quiet City Transport” [Qcity] provides tools to be used by the local authorities for evaluating noise maps and creating noise action plans.
This is done by developing and disseminating a wide range of different solutions for specific hot-spot problems. The Qcity research project started in February 2005. 27 partners all over Europe are participating in the project. The expertise of the partners covers both road and rail related technology. Public transport organizations and local authorities are also represented. This broad range of stakeholders ensures a successful result of the Qcity project.