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How to encourage road noise abatement in Nordic municipalities?
Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Mobility, actors and planning processes.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1346-8094
2008 (English)In: Journal of Transdisciplinary Environmental Studies, ISSN 1602-2297, E-ISSN 1602-2297, Vol. 7, no 2Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Road noise nuisance is a huge problem in the Nordic countries, and it seems difficult for Nordic countries to meet national targets for its reduction. One reason for this is the lack of municipal activities in the field. Th us the research question that this article seeks to answer in relation to already existing residential areas and roads is: which conditions in the municipal organisation and its institutional environment contribute to making municipalities provide and implement noise abatement measures? The assumption is that three factors influence how the municipalities prioritize among political issues: the municipal organisation itself, the local institutional environment (citizens, business and NGOs), and the state and trans-municipal networks. A study of the anatomy of municipal road noise abatement policy shows that conditions for implementing road noise abatement in existing residential areas are poor, though, possibly, the large municipalities represent an exception to this rule. In general, road traffic noise abatement does not seem to be institutionalised, whether it be in the municipal organisation or the institutional environment. Two case studies of municipalities involved in eff orts beyond the usual are chosen for further analysis, namely the construction of a noise barrier in the Danish municipality of Hørsholm, as well as noise abatement windows in the City of Stockholm. Inspired by the case studies I highlight some conditions which seem to be important for making municipalities actively provide and implement road noise abatement measures in situations of existent residential areas and roads. For the municipal organisation, regularly mapping the noise problem and making status reports of the achievements are very important. Civil servants should also use any opportunity to stress the noise problem. In the local institutional environment patient and persistent citizens are very important, and it is important that they behave in ways which the civil servants and the politicians respect. Legislation plays a significant role with respect to state and trans-municipal networks. Finally, the state’s financial support for municipalities which are abating noise is a significant condition, as are ambitious state objectives. From the case studies presented here it is possible to identify two types of strategies which can be pursued. The first is the citizen strategy, where citizens are the driving forces. A problem with this strategy might be some degree of inequality. The other strategy is the civil servant strategy, where civil servants are the driving force. A consequence of this strategy might be that it will mainly be citizens in larger cities that will benefit from noise abatement measures.

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 7, no 2
Keywords [en]
Noise, Prevention, Urban area, Planning, Local authority, Case study
National Category
Public Administration Studies Infrastructure Engineering
Research subject
10 Road: Transport, society, policy and planning; 10 Road: Transport, society, policy and planning, 15 Road: Environment
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:vti:diva-11260OAI: oai:DiVA.org:vti-11260DiVA, id: diva2:1247448
Available from: 2018-09-12 Created: 2018-09-12 Last updated: 2018-09-12Bibliographically approved

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Hedegaard Sørensen, Claus

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