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Comparative Analysis of Methods to Estimate Urban Noise Exposure of Inhabitants

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Most of the European Member States have produced strategic noise maps according to the requirements issued by the 2002/49/EC directive (END) and after the first run the results are available on the web. A straightforward comparison of estimated noise exposure data in each country is meaningless because, unfortunately, different methods have been used to determine the reported data. This paper focuses on possible variations in people exposure estimate due to the method used to calculate noise levels at receivers and to assign levels to buildings, as well as to associate population to each building. Results show that the choice of the method to estimate noise exposure of inhabitants is crucial for planning effective noise mitigation actions. A simple method, considering only the noise level at the grid point closest to the building, is here proposed and it seems suitable to inform and to be understood by the public, even thought it is not appropriate for epidemiological studies or definition of action plans. Because inaccurate estimations of noise exposure may lead to misleading allocation of economical resources in action plans, the objective of the estimated exposure should be clear at the time of the choice of the calculation method in order to select the most appropriate one.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2012

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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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