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Noise Policies and Planning

Many municipalities have incorporated sound and noise awareness into their planning for parks, highways, and new development.

UK Noise Mapping Projects - In the United Kingdom, planners have been creating "noise maps" in communities around the country for several years. DEFRA (Department of Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs) has launched a noisemapping website to make the results available to the public. [DEFRA NOISEMAPPING SITE] [BBC NEWS REPORT, 2008]
Related: Campaign to Protect Rural England - An intriguing approach to land management, the CPRE has created the Mapping Tranquility project. Country-wide and regional maps highlight the relative "tranquility" of the landscape, with efforts made to preserve the level of tranquility that now exists. [WEBSITE]

European Union Noise Maps - Dynamic website that shows (on a country-wide basis, not finely-grained) the number of residents exposed to various levels of road, air, and rail noise. [WEBSITE]

NIH: New approaches to mitigating and regulating noise - Comprehensive 2005 articles from "Environnmental Health Perspectives", a journal from the US National Institute of Health. [READ MITIGATION ARTICLE] [READ REGULATION ARTICLE] [SEE RELATED ARTICLES]

Archive of Urban Noise Ordinances - City, state, and county statutes, collected and maintained by the Noise Pollution Clearinghouse [WEBSITE]
Related: Ontario Noise Laws [WEBSITE]

Vancouver Noise Urban Noise Task Force - This comprehensive study of urban noise issues, put together in 1997, is a great model for sound-awareness at the municipal level. [WEBSITE] Vancouver Leafblower by-law [READ BYLAW]

Rio de Janiero Secretaria Municipal de Ambiente - Website of the Municipal Sound office of the city of Rio. It's in Portugese, but full of detailed resources--another great model. [WEBSITE]

New Australian Draft Sound Policy Guide Released - The New South Wales Environment Protection Authority (EPA) released a draft of guidelines in December 2002 for localities, aimed at helping them implement the Noise Control Act of 2000. [WEBSITE] [DOWNLOAD GUIDE(pdf)]
Related: The EPA earlier released two other reports/guidelines:
Environmental Criteria for Road Traffic Noise [WEBSITE] [DOWNLOAD REPORT(pdf)]
Industrial Noise Policy [WEBSITE]

European Commission moves toward an integrated European Union policies about Noise Pollution - In 2000, the European Commission began working toward addressing noise pollution in a coherent, integrated way throughout the European Union. The first step will be to outline the various impacts of noise pollution, with plans for creaing "noise maps" of the entire EU being discussed. This initiative is envisioned to form the basis for development of action plans and strategies at local, national and EU levels to combat noise pollution. [PRESS RELEASE]
Related: EU new rules on Aircraft Noise and Pleasure Boats
Related: England initiates sound survey (March 2002) [READ ARTICLE]

EU Stop That Noise - Workplace noise initiative [WEBSITE]

HEAVEN (Healthier Environments through Abatement of Vehicle Emissions and Noise) program launched in six European cities - Launched in January 2001, this program aims to provide practical information and technologies to help urban planners address air quality and noise issues related to automobile traffic patterns. Berlin, Paris, Prague, and Rome are among the cities involved in the initial phase of the project, which is partly funded by the European Commission. A conference held in December 2002 marked the completion of HEAVEN's intial phase; it is now shifting gears and standing on its own, marketing its analysis approaches to cities throughout Europe. [WEB SITE]
Read reports on two cities' programs (Leicester includes sound focus, Paris is air quality-oriented): [Leicester] [Paris]

Institute for Safe, Quiet and Durable Highways - Based at Purdue Univerisity, the institute conducts research aimed at reducing the noise created by tires and highways. [PRESS RELEASE] [WEBSITE]

US Government Closed Office of Noise Abatement Years Ago - The Noise Control Act, passed in 1972, sets federal guidelines for noise; the EPA was designated to enforce the Act, through the Office of Noise Abatement and Control. However, in 1982, President Reagan discontinued funding for the ONAC, effectively turning noise control over to the states. In a 1998 report, Dr. Arlene Bronnzaft of the League for the Hard of Hearing considered the effects of the federal abandonment of the issue. [READ ARTICLE]

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