Last Meeting

Spring meeting 2018 Florence

On 12 and 13 April 2018 the spring meeting of Working Group Noise EUROCITIES was held in Florence. The chair (Mr Henk Wolfert) welcomes all members, guest speakers and the host of the meeting. He mentions that a few members are impeded and the ones who gave notice of later arrival. By Ms Gessica Pecchioni from Florence, the participants were welcomed. The deputy-major was impeded she said, she sent her apologies. .

After the formailities, introduction, approval of the agenda, the minutes last meeting and the continuous action list Mr Arnaldo Melloni did a very interesting presentation of the ideas about the instalment of green and blue corridors along the river Arno. These will be connected and have different functions. During the debate, it was proposed to connect these areas with other green or quiet areas or places (green, grey and blue). Other cities are also working on green and quiet areas. Cities can learn from other cities or adopt the approaches developed there. The idea of setting up a partnership was not embraced. But the exchange of more information about the aim and the size of the approach in Bilbao, Rotterdam, Paris, Turin and Malmö (cannal) is welcome. More in-depth information is needed to recognise the added value of collaboration between cities in any form.

Subsequently the presentation by Mr Sergio Luzzi followed. He emphasized the shortcomings of the WHO report it was concluded that, although the report was based on evidence found and not on expert judgements  there are still some experts assumptions in the report. Some quantitative elements are missing. He derived from the executive summary some issues that were rather vague. Regarding the GRADE approach it is doubted whether this sufficient to make the guideline scientific reliable? Health effect indicators are also missing and also noise related obesitas and diabetes 2 are lacking. The wording and framing of the report could be better. For laymen (politicians and policy makers) the report is not accessible, they need a layman report. Poor attention was paid to low frequency noise and vibrations, unfortunately. Only strong evidence was found for road traffic noise and airport noise. The report is still confidential. The final WHO report is expected to be published before end of the year.

Mr Reinier Balkema presented the examples from Utrecht and Amsterdam. The examples were often balconies and loggias that were closed with a glass wall or a wall that could be opened. The idea was based on the Q-side project (closed and quiet façades). When people have a quiet façade and the sensitive rooms are not at the noisy side people would perceive the noise as less annoyance and a 5 dB bonus on the limit value may be applied in cases where the preferred limit value is exceeded. A number of solutions were presented some of them were successful and the most not so successful. People living in the apartments were not aware of the reason behind (noise measure).The survey about perception was conducted among a limited number of residents. The results of the survey about the effect of quiet façades were not as expected. People weren’t not more likely to sleep with open windows. Because only a limited number of people are surveyed, so the results should be considered as tentative. No additional surveys are considered in the future. Ms Nina Mahler mentioned that near a Swiss airport houses are planned with windows that close and open automatically when a noise threshold is exceeded. During the discussion also the noise of heat pump was mentioned. The complaints about heat pumps are increasing due to the fact that the number of heat pumps is increasing. Some cities have limits or conditions to be taken into account in their construction/building regulation. This subject could be on the agenda one the next meetings.

Mr Theo Benjert explained that the survey on the internet (survey monkey) is open and an invite was sent by a student. Until now 2 cities have responded. The deadlines were postponed and he called upon all to fill in the questionnaire which should be filled in in collaboration with the colleagues of the road department.

Mr Henk Wolfert presented the draft leaflet noise and waste and the response of Working Group Waste which is very valuable. There is also something missing in the memo, and the pictures have a poor resolution and need to be improved. Maybe there is also a subject missing in the memo. Mr Menno Hillebregt mentioned that working during the night in residential areas should be avoided as much as possible as this solution not reported yet in the leaflet.

By Mr Sicco Rah de problems with train noise in Hamburg was explained. Freight trains coming from the port of Hamburg are crossing the city and are causing a lot of annoyance and complaints. By members of Working Group Noise some potential measures that could be applied, these are:

  • track grinding
  • speed reduction
  • replacing wooden sleepers by concrete ones
  • vegetation between the tracks
  • rail dampers
  • detour around the city
  • mini barriers
  • diffractors
  • skirts along the wheels
  • time restrictions
  • NDTAC
  • Stricter Emission Limit Values to be pledged at EU (DG MOVE)
  • Replacing braking blocks (G-blocks >> K- of LL Blocks)
  • Insulation of the façades/roof houses
  • Tunnel (might give constraints due to hazardous substances)
  • Over roofing tracks using in a multi functional way (shops, gyms, playgrounds, etc.)

By Mr Pier Saraceno was told that EUROCITIE works on an evaluation of her position/functioning (Future of EUROCITIES). How can EUROCITIES make the difference compared with other institutes like CEMR, C40, etc? A questionnaire was set out among members, and 100 out of 130 members responded. A conference will be held in November 2018. By Mr Pier Saraceno a call for project application was presented that also includes noise. (visionary and integrated solutions to improve well-being and health in cities. EUROCITIES office considers joining the potential project as the main beneficiary. If cities are interested they, please contact Mr Pier Saraceno or Mr Henk Wolfert.

The EU Green Week 20-18 will be held in May 2018. EUROCITIES will provide some leaflets, and WG Noise is invited to send ideas (300 words) for the leaflets to Mr Pier Saraceno.

The autumn meeting of the EUROCITIES Environmental Forum (EEF) will be held in Tampere (Finland) on 17-19 October 2018. Working Group Noise will not meet in parallel with the EEF but separately as they have already planned to meet in Rotterdam, see elsewhere in these minutes. In 2019 EEF will meet in Oslo which is awarded as Green City EU 2019. The Expert Group of the European Commission will meet in mm/dd. Mr Enrico Gallo will replace Mr Henk Wolfert if his superiors agree with this. The Green week is organized in May.

By Ms Maria Favorin from Espoo, was told that the noise assessment is implemented only for traffic noise.Noise levels were assessed for  primary and collector streets, Highways and ramps (i.e. major roads, over 3 million vehicle passages a year) and all railways. Maps of airport noise is assessed by Finavia. Beside the indicator mentioned in the END also equivalent noise levels LAeq,7-22 and LAeq,22-7 as required in Government Decree. Noise assessment was conducted with CNOSSOS-EU method (Common Noise Assessment Methods in Europe) by using both type of indicators. An noise assessment was also conducted with Nordic Prediction Method (NPM) for national purposes by using the LAeq,7-22 and LAeq,22-7 indicators. By using CNOSSOS it appered that for road traffic noise above 55 dB, the number of exposed inhabitants with the new method is about 50 % of the number calculated with the old method and  railway noise above 55 dB, the number of exposed inhabitants with the new method is about 30 % of the number calculated with the old method. The LAeq,7-22 and LAeq,22-7 were calculated to ensure the comparison between the different noise assessment methods. It appeared that with CNOSSOS-EU, the number of inhabitants exposed to road traffic noise is slightly lower than with NPM. In Finland, the CNOSSOS method will not be used for national purposes.

UNIFI (Ms Chiara Bartalucci) has made a comparison between INM and CNOSSOS for the airport of Florence. A 5 dB difference was found during take-off of the planes. CNOSSOS appeared more conservative than the INM method. The propagation models showed a difference less than 2 dB. Ms Chiara Bartalucci also presented research among pupils at the school. Some resilience was found in school children.

By Ms Itziar Aspuru research was presented about a comparison between the interim method END and CNOSSOS on a crossing of two roads. Measurements were also conducted. Around 2-7 dB differences were found when comparing the results of the two methods. In this case, the CNOSSOS method was close to the measurements conducted. In Spain, the CNOSSOS method will be used for national purposes too. The effect of motor bikes was discussed. In the calculations, these motor bikes have been considered as light vehicles, but one should be aware that more than 60% of the motor bikes are equipped with illegal parts. By Mr Menno Hillebregt the Dutch position was presented. It is about many things, see WD 13.5.  Meteo is different in CNOSSOS; Urban roads are not really considered in NMBP method (base for CNOSSOS), etc

Ms Belma Krslak presented the LUSTA project; LUSTA stands for Living Urban Test Arena. The challenge is to persuade manufacturers to send their materials and product to the LUSTA test arena. The tests take place in an urban area. The aim of the project is to realise a better outdoor environment.

Ms Paola Coppi gave an update on the DYNAMAP project. The so called ANED device (to distinguish and skip anomalous noise) is almost ready. DYNAMAP uses the HARMONICA method to communicate with the public. Mr Enrico Gallo gave an update on the MONICA project which is about IoT devices. One of the parts of this project is noise, using low cost sensors.

Mr Antoine Perez Munoz presented the approach followed by Bruitparif with the three roads. Different types of asphalt have been applied. The acoustic performance of the asphalt decreases with 0.65 dB annually. Reduction of the asphalt lays between 5-8 dB.

Ms Nina Mahler presented the problem that was found when using apps on smartphones in controlling leisure noise during the festival Zurich. How to measure the noise of bars, restaurants, etc.. These apps are not accurate enough. When using them validation/calibration is needed. However, to calibrate a costly calibrator is needed which is too costly for the principals of the bars, etc. Rotterdam and Bilbao recognised the problem. Rotterdam did measurements with different smartphones, and it appeared that the I-phone 5 was the most accurate comparing it with a class 1 sound level meter. Android smart phones differ a lot; there are many brands in smart phones. Bilboa (Ms Itziar Aspuru) has gained experience in the so called citi-sense project and worked with an external microphone which has better quality. However, this is assumed to be expensive. Mr Enrico Gallo referred to the OpeNoise app which could possibly result in a better result for validation in the near future., they are exploring to provide a low cost calibration device.

Mr Bert Peeters presented the IGNA report about Cost Benefit Analysis. The report includes the next approaches:

Cost-utility analysis (CUA) which is the optimal ratio between Mr Bert Peeters presented the report. There are more alternatives to make the costs and benefits of noise measures visible.

Cost minimization which is the cheapest’ option that fulfils legal requirements
Cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) which is the optimal ratio between noise reduction and costs (value-for-money)ΣdB    €          (or: ΣdB * persons, or ΣdB * households)public health (utility) parameters and costs. DALY’s    €
Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) which is the optimal ratio between mulitple, monetarized criteria, summed to a single value, and costs
€   €

Beside these methods Mr Bert Peeters presented the multi Decision Criteria analysis which is an interesting solution for local projects: good for public participation! However, there are very little documentation or examples for environmental noise. See the report for more details!

By Mr Theo Benjert an outlook of the Rotterdam meeting was given. This takes place at 10 and 11 October 2018.

foto Florence meeting venue

Meeting venue Florence

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