Noise in cities: Urban and transport planning determinants and health in cities

Peter Lercher*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Historically, urbanization is clearly one of the drivers of increasing noise problems
in the society. However, there are other more important drivers, like the growing
general mobility demands, paired with an enormous increase in urban freight trans-
port (De Vos and Van Beek 2011). Although a trend for suburbanization of freight
center activity is observed—the goods need to be brought to the shops and the cus-
tomer in the city. Therefore, around megacities both centrifugal and centripetal pro-
cesses are at work (Cidell 2010; Malecki 2014). The size of each force depends on
monocentric or polycentric development—but all lead to increased person and
freight trafic. In contrast to other environmental stressors (air pollution), noise
exposure is often still increasing in European cities, in spite of large efforts with the
advent of the Environmental Noise Directive.
Supranational institutions and governments approach the noise problem mainly
by two means. Either by opinion surveys about satisfaction with noise climate and
noise annoyance in cities or by physical noise level mapping. Most complete infor-
mation is available from Europe, where the Environmental Noise Directive (END)
required member states to carry out systematic noise mapping. Non-systematic
information is available in Asia (from megacities), North America (Metropolitan
areas), South America (Brasilia), and less from Africa—although data sources and
awareness increase.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIntegrating Human Health into Urban and Transport Planning
Subtitle of host publicationA Framework
PublisherSpringer International Publishing AG
Number of pages39
ISBN (Electronic)9783319749839
ISBN (Print)9783319749822
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Noise and vibration
  • Public health
  • Environmental Planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Engineering(all)


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