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Human Response to a Step Change in Noise Exposure Following the Opening of a New Railway Extension in Hong Kong

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A study was undertaken to determine the change in exposure of dwellings to road traffic and railway noise and the residents' annoyance reactions in a new town in Hong Kong following the opening of an 11.4-km railway extension line. The acoustic changes were determined by noise mapping and validated by field measurements. Social surveys were performed six months before, three months following and one year after operation of the railway. The results show that despite railway noise and a small increase in total noise exposure, the annoyance of the residents decreased with time during the study period, showing that annoyance was not significantly related to noise levels or the magnitude of change in exposure level. The results of path analysis show that factors affecting annoyance reactions changed during the study period covering different stages before and after operation of the railway. While the current research design does not provide temporal human response data long enough to ascertain whether the annoyance reaction just before opening of the railway was an overreaction, the study has nonetheless demonstrated that annoyance did attenuate over time. Possible factors affecting human annoyance reactions and implications for environmental management are examined in the paper.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2008

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  • Acta Acustica united with Acustica, published together with the European Acoustics Association (EAA), is an international, peer-reviewed journal on acoustics. It publishes original articles on all subjects in the field of acoustics, such as general linear acoustics, nonlinear acoustics, macrosonics, flow acoustics, atmospheric sound, underwater sound, ultrasonics, physical acoustics, structural acoustics, noise control, active control, environmental noise, building acoustics, room acoustics, acoustic materials, acoustic signal processing, computational and numerical acoustics, hearing, audiology and psychoacoustics, speech, musical acoustics, electroacoustics, auditory quality of systems. It reports on original scientific research in acoustics and on engineering applications. The journal considers scientific papers, technical and applied papers, book reviews, short communications, doctoral thesis abstracts, etc. In irregular intervals also special issues and review articles are published.
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