Spring meeting Zagreb
On 11 and 12 May Working Group Noise was hosted by the city of Zagreb. On the first day, the participants were welcomed by Ms Nevanka Preradovic head of the Energy, Environment, and Sustainable Development department of the city. Another welcome was done by Mr Zeljko Placonic of the Croation ministry of health. By Ms Sandra Hamin a brief overview was given of the noise policies of Zagreb and also policies on the central level.
After the formalities like the introduction, approval of the agenda, the minutes of the previous meeting and the continuous action list a round table was organised about progress, problems encountered and solutions found during the second round of noise mapping and noise action planning and the preparations for the third round which is started now. The yield of this round was a bit scattered. Most of the cities completed the noise maps of the second round and also sent in the action plans. The implementation of the interventions and measures mentioned in the action plans is often delayed. Regarding the third round, it appeared that some cities made good progress and are on course, some are delayed and some have not started yet. Reasons for the delay or inaction seem to be diverse, mentioned was a lack of financial and human resources, lack of interest among policy makers and politicians. This is something to work on, supporting and encouraging cities to make progress and action in mitigating and reducing noise and hindrance should be part of the position of EUROCITIES’ working group noise in which it will collaborate with the European Commission and other stakeholders. The project round table was poor, just one project was presented because the presenter of the INAD and MONICA project was impeded because of illness.
In the afternoon the Rimac automobile factory was visited. Rimac manufactures electric cars and electric bikes. Almost all parts of the cars and the e-bikes are produced by the factory itself. In the evening a guided city trip through Zagreb downtown was organized.
The second day started with a wrap-up of the decisions and actions made during the first day. After this wrap-up, a presentation of the Zagreb masterplan on transport was given by Mr Damir Kapudjia. From 2001 until 2011 traffic increases drastically due to ecomic reasons. Zagreb promotes the use of sustainable transport and works on bike lanes these days. The number of bike lanes is increasing. The main dish during this meeting was served by Mr Marco Paviotti who presented the outcomes of the evaluation of the Environmental Noise Directive (END). He emphasized that cities should take their responsibilities and should make work of noise reduction seriously. He referred to the speech of the co-chair of the EUROCITIES Environmental Forum who stated that the END should be more muscled. Not only towards the cities and other competent bodies but also towards the other DG’s of the European Commission. The memorandum, drafted by WGN, was briefly explained by the chair. He invited the members to respond to this memorandum within one week. By Pier Saraceno the schedule for the position paper was presented and he also asked for direction. What exactly must be addressed to the European Commission and the European Parliament? He and the chair will work on the position paper, starting within two weeks. By Ms Dorota Jaroskinska, working for the World Health Organisation, the progress of the guideline noise and health was presented. This guideline is under revision now. She reported some findings of the revision process. there seems to be sufficient evidence for the health effects and long-term exposure to road traffic noise. For railway noise, this relation is somewhat poorer and for wind turbines and leisure noise, nothing can be concluded yet. She could not guarantee that the revised guideline will be published end of 2017. By Professor Ms Vesna Posloncec a thesis conducted by some of her students was presented. The student using Noise-Tube on their smartphone measured noise in Zagreb in order to compose a noise map based on noise measurements conducted with smartphones. We concluded that there was some room for improvement, although this innovative approach seems to have the future. Residents could be seen as walking sensors.
AUTUMN MEETING MUNICH
On 14 and 15 September the autumn meeting of Working Group Noise EUROCITIES was held in Munich. The meeting was hosted by the city of Munich and Müller-BBM. The office of Müller-BBM in Planegg, near Munich was the meeting venue. After the welcome on behalf of EUROCITIES the attendees were welcomed by Professor Joachim Scheuren, director of Müller-BBM. After the welcome Ms Silvia Franzl, head of the environment and health department of the Munich municipality. She explaned that the city of Munich is expanding on a limited space, thus leading to more noise, especially traffic noise. Therefore the noise problem is high on the political agenda. Hereafter, Mr Kemmather presented the components of the Munich noise policies, concentrating on road traffic noise. This policies addresses: traffic related measures, planning and construction measures, and funding programs.Traffic related measures employed in Munich are:
- Traffic control measures (30 km speed limit zones, parking facility management, phased traffic lights (green wave)
- Influencing the choice of transport mode (promoting public transport, more Park and Ride, and Bike and Ride facilities, promoting cycling)
Planning measures are: closing gaps between buildings, situating noise-sensitive rooms at quiet side of buildings, undertunneling a part of the ring roads, creating bypass roads, implementing low-noise road surfaces. Funding programs include granting funds in order to implement expensive noise protection measures at residential buildings (shutters, and sound insulating windows).
After approval of the agenda, the minutes and the continuous action list and the introduction of all participants, the round table on noise mapping and noise action planning was held. It appeared that most of the cities already work on the 3rd round noise mapping preparations. In some cities attention is paid to city parks and restricted areas. Other cities have applied quiet road sufaces (quiet asphalt) or redeveloped urban spaces together with the introduction of the 30km zone. A few cities have problems with getting up-to-date and reliable traffic data. Tramway noise could become an important issue which implies that the NOMETRAM action could get more attention than so far. Rotterdam decided to make a separate noise map of tram noise. Antwerp will carry out a small test with CNOSSOS and UBA is also working on it.
After the round table a workshop was held about the strategy of WGN. This was led by Martin Fitzpatrick. Each group had to answer the following questions:
- What do we consider to be the top 2 (or 3) priorities for the year to come?
- What can I personally do to implement these priorities?
After a lively discussion the groups defined produced a rather consistent pattern of priorities. Strategic priorities, to be addressed by all each time an opportunity offers itself:
- Advancing projects on non-END noise sources. The initial activity will concentrate on construction noise.
- Strengthening ties with WHO, so as to ensure that the updated report on noise and health from WHO is disseminated and promoted in the cities we represent.
WGN will seek to influence the REFIT process to ensure that the experience of our cities is taken into account for future policy. Alongside this WGN will seek opportunities to feed into the CNOSSOS process using studies conducted by third parties.
Rotterdam presented the Declaration on Better Tyres. By the vice-mayor of Rott3erdam an invitation was sent to all EUROCITIES members to sign this declaration implying that municipal fleets shall be provided with better tyres whcih are quieter, cleaner, safer and more fuel efficient. A lot of money can be saved (€36 billion/a in EU. See also www.better-tyres-now.eu .
Mr Hintzsche (UBA) presented the German approach towards noise mapping, and noise action planning. Also German noise abatement regulations are pointed out, as the general framework in which the action plans should fit.By the Dutch Road Authority (RWS) a presentation was done about a noise barrier that has bi-facial solar panels. This LIFE project called Solar-Highways. By the municipality of Milan the DYNAMAP project was presented. DYNAMAP is an project that is aimed to dynamic noise mapping, see the project website. Much can be learnt from the noise sensor network and source recognition device developed in the project by La Salle University. By DCMR/Rotterdam a lecture was given about behaviour change which was partly a recap of one of the previous studies om Gaining Political Interest. The other part was about changing residentents behaviour. All factors influencing behaviour and possible methods to influence human behaviour were explained.
By VienRose, representing the municipal of Florence, the INAD 2017 (International Noise Awareness Day)was presented.Main events will be (at EU level; other events can be organized at a local level):
- Scientific workshop
- Dedicated webpage
- Interactive app
- Promo presentation
- Events in museums
- Pan-European competition
- Noise and sound mail boxes
- Dedicated tv programs
- Central cultural event
- Screening of “in pursuit of silence”
The last point was the next meeting which will be held in Zagreb on 11 and 12 May. Th introduction was done by Ms Sandra Hamin from Zagreb.
The second day a field trip was made in Pasing a distruict of Munich. Mr Grünberger and Mr Kemmather introduced us to the technical tour. In Pasing a bypass road was created around the centre of the town (older than Munich, but in the 1930’s made part of Munich). The bypass road runs partly parallel to the already existing railway. The centre is revitalised. The bypass road attracts more vehicles than the old road through the centre, which often is the case in similar situations because of the shortened driving time.
During the afternoon and the next morning the final symposium of SONORUS was held. SONORUS is a project on Urban Sound Planning. More information can be obtained here.
All working documents and powerpoints can be found here.