Imitation highly recommended
SYLVIE - Systematic Noise Abatement in Inner City Residential Areas
Inner city road traffic reaches noise levels of over 70 decibels (dB). In built-up urban areas, the degree of noise pollution is therefore high and way above the targeted tolerance limits and standard values (65 dB during the day and 55 dB at night). The human threshold of pain is considered to be approximately 130 decibels. In order to avoid this from the onset, the SYLVIE project was set up to develop methods to solve local noise problems through cooperative processes.
The SYLVIE project - the German acronym stands for Systematic Noise Abatement in Inner City Residential Areas - was implemented by the Municipal Department for Environmental Protection in three Viennese districts in the period from 1999 to 2002. The aim was to find the best possible methods regarding all kinds of noise (traffic, business, neighbourhood etc.), in order to reduce the burden of noise pollution in the long run through a noise abatement process involving all stakeholders.
First a noise analysis was conducted in the affected city zone, in the course of which local residents were interviewed and noise measurements were taken. Subsequently, solutions were jointly explored with noisemakers, noise victims and experts. A final report outlined recommendations for dealing with the various kinds of noise.
The following are two examples of noise reduction processes within the SYLVIE project:
- Siebensternplatz: Because of the large number of bars and restaurants generating a commensurately high noise level, a mediation process was initiated. This involved all people concerned working out solutions for noise reduction, such as the use of plasticised metal ropes in place of steel chains to secure outdoor tables and chairs, which substantially reduced noise levels in this case.
- Theodor-Körner-Hof: This residential complex is located on one of Vienna's busiest streets and was to be provided with a noise protection barrier. An architectural competition was organised for its design and the winning project featuring a transparent noise protection barrier and integrated photovoltaic panels was implemented in 2007. 75 per cent of the residents have since benefitted from noise levels kept below the tolerance limit.
The City of Vienna has developed action plans for noise reduction, which have been integrated into all urban programmes, such as the Urban Energy Efficiency Programme (German acronym: SEP), Urban Air Initiative (ULI), Transport Master Plan (MPV) and Urban Development Plan (STEP 05) to facilitate joint action against noise emissions. Examples of such measures are:
- Noise protection along railway lines: the Austrian Federal Railways and the City of Vienna implement measures such as the construction of noise protection barriers and the fitting of noise protection window panels along railway lines.
- Noise control on public transport: Wiener Linien (the Vienna Public Transport Authority) use low-noise trams (noise control aprons, sound absorbent underbody) and structure-borne noise insulation as well as ensuring optimum maintenance of track. Noise reduction barriers are erected along above-ground stretches of the underground.
- 30 km speed limit zones: lower speed means less noise and the 30 km speed limit zones in Vienna are therefore being extended.
The SYLVIE project was among the finalists of the "Stockholm Challenge Award 2003" (a global competition promoting innovative ICT projects), and in 2004 was rated as Good Practice by the Best Practices Hub.
Facts & Figures
- Project duration: three years (1999 to 2002)
- Budget: EUR 800,000, 50% EU funding through LIFE programme
- Noise tolerance limits (as defined by the EU): whole day value: 65 dB continuous sound level, whole night value: 55 dB continuous sound level
Measures against noise pollution in Vienna:
- Noise protection barriers and noise protection embankments
- Funding of noise-protection window panels
- Pedestrian zones, 30 km speed zones and car parking management
- Noise protection for public transport
- Laws, regulations and Austrian standards on noise limits
Noise threshold value for action planning:
(pursuant to Federal Environmental Noise Ordinance 2006)
- Road noise
- Day 60 dB; Night 50 dB
- Air traffic noise
- Day 65 dB; Night 55 dB
- Railway traffic noise
- Day 70 dB; Night 60 dB
- Business and industry
- Day 55 dB; Night 50 dB
- Disturbing noise
- from 50 dB up
- Risk of hearing damage
- from 80 dB up
- Noise threshold value
- from 130 dB up
DI (FH) Volker Schaffler
Tel. +43 1 4000 84269
Fax +43 1 4000 7997
- Projekt SYLVIE - Systemische Lärm- sanierung in innerstäd- tischen Wohnvierteln
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