Reduction of noise pollution

Living close to a road, railway, wind turbines or airport can be more than just a nuisance – at least one in five people in the EU is exposed to a level of traffic noise that is considered harmful to health.

In the figure below (click for further details) are the estimates for the effects of long-term exposure to unhealthy noise levels.


Noise levels from transport sources are generally too low to cause biological damage to the ear. However, research shows that prolonged exposure to noise above certain levels can trigger physiological and psychological stress responses, including the release of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, increased heart rate and blood pressure, as well as increased feelings of anxiety and irritability. Stress associated with noise can affect both physical and mental well-being, affecting sleep quality, concentration, performance, learning ability and overall quality of life.

Due to the negative impact of noise on a large part of Europe's population, environmental noise has become a significant problem for citizens and politicians. Reducing noise has therefore become a central goal under the EU's action plan for zero pollution and the directive on environmental noise (Environmental Noise Directive - END).

Research and development in acoustics and noise reduction play an important role in the remedy:

  • Noise reduction technology: Research and development can focus on developing advanced noise reduction technologies for wind turbines, trains and vehicles. This can include innovative soundproofing materials, noise-reducing coatings and noise-reducing design solutions that effectively reduce the unwanted noise at the source, e.g. tire noise.
  • Acoustic design and planning: With the help of research and advanced acoustic modeling, the physical planning of roads, train lines and wind farms can be optimized. This may include locating noise-sensitive areas away from noise sources, optimal placement and orientation of wind turbines to reduce noise nuisance, and designing roads with noise reduction in mind.
  • Noise-reducing barriers and screens: Research can contribute to developing more effective and aesthetically pleasing noise-reducing barriers and screens along roads and railways. This may include the use of innovative materials, structures and forms that absorb or reflect the noise and protect nearby residential areas or sensitive areas from noise pollution.
  • Sound optimized infrastructure: Research can investigate and develop sound-optimized solutions for infrastructure facilities. This may include the use of noise-absorbing road surfaces, vibration optimization of train tracks and carriages, and sound-absorbing design of bridges and tunnels.
  • Noise monitoring and assessment: Research can contribute to improving methods for noise monitoring and assessment. By developing advanced noise detection and noise mapping methods, one can identify noise problems precisely and target specific areas where intervention is needed.

In order to achieve sustainable urbanization, it is therefore necessary to integrate noise reduction strategies into urban planning and development in order to create a healthy and viable society in the long term. This may include the use of noise barriers, acoustic design of the urban area, limiting traffic and industry in residential areas, using quiet building materials, etc. – to reduce noise nuisance and improve the quality of life for city residents.

Danish Sound Cluster facilitates a number of activities for partners and members who work in the area with a view to further innovation. We would like to hear from you and your company/organisation in relation to new projects and initiatives.

Events on the theme:
Projects under the auspices of the Danish Sound Cluster:
Members working on sustainable urbanization:
Interested in entering into an innovation collaboration within the area?

Do not hesitate to contact Jens Nedergaard, – tel. 31621315

Jens Nedergard
Danish Sound Cluster

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