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Quieter surface transport

Final Report Summary - SILENCE (Quieter surface transport)

SILENCE developed an integrated system of methodologies and technologies for an efficient reduction of urban traffic noise. Within SILENCE the considerations of city authorities, individual road traffic, mass rail transport and road / rail construction were combined. The subjects of research and investigations were: urban noise scenarios, noise perception and annoyance, individual road and rail vehicle noise improvement, noise reduction from tyre / road interaction, low noise road surfaces and construction, traffic management and city planning.

The SILENCE approach started in three steps: the assessment of urban noise situations, the definition of urban noise scenarios as a reference basis for the whole project, the identification of the related noise abatement priorities and noise reduction potentials. On this basis, the RTD activities concentrated on the development of noise abatement technologies and tools and methodologies for noise reduction and policy decisions. Thereby, the essential categories of urban traffic vehicles were considered: cars, light duty trucks, buses, trams, trains, metros etc.

Road and rail traffic noise sources were investigated and simulated by sophisticated analysis tools for noise reduction measures using new noise reduction materials and designs. SILENCE developed and presented solutions for road surfaces / construction and rails to reduce their noise emission as well as methods for noise control by road traffic management and driver assistance systems. Out of urban noise scenarios urban action plans and decision support systems were designed in order to support city councils.

With the combined results of SILENCE a reduction of road and rail traffic noise emission in urban areas by up to 10 dBA can be achieved. The final results of SILENCE were presented at conferences and in dedicated dissemination and training events.

SP J widely disseminated the results of SILENCE to cities and the industry. By providing clear and accessible materials, the dissemination strategy ensures understanding of the project achievements by a large audience. In addition, training materials were developed and training events organised for specific target groups (urban planners, transport planners, engineers), who ensure the follow up of the project and the use of its results. The activities in WP J.1 'Dissemination and networking' comprised the continuous maintenance and updating of SILENCE website, the organisation of the SILENCE road seminar in June 2007 and proceedings as well as another SILENCE rail seminar in January 2008. Five SILENCE newsletters were published and one joint SILENCE-QCity newsletter. SILENCE was promoted at several international events by all SILENCE partners and a large number of publications presenting individual results of SILENCE are available.

The SILENCE e-learning is an excellent opportunity for transport or urban planners to learn about the requirements of noise action plans, the action planning process and noise abatement measures local decision makers to learn about organising the action planning process, advantages and problems of noise abatement measures and long-term strategies to abate noise transport engineers to find comprehensive technical information about noise abatement measures.