Roads are the most influential source of noise nuisance for Warsaw residents

Warsaw maps the sounds of the city - again

Warsaw maps the sounds of the city - again

The capital city wants to ensure better protection of residents against noise

On 22 July, Warsaw authorities informed that they have opened a tender for the preparation of an acoustic map of the city. The objective is to be better informed of the existing noise pollution and to take appropriate action to protect residents against noise. The action is done once every five years and it is a continuation of a two-decades-long effort by the local government in noise nuisance prevention.

Road noise affects almost 10% of Warsaw residents

Warsaw is getting ready for the new edition of its Acoustic map. First released in 2007, and then in 2012 and 2017, said map depicts the levels of exposure to different types of noise throughout the city. The results are presented visually in a clear way and are meant to inform the local community about noise hazards, but also provide data to public authorities for their environmental monitoring.

The map is required by the Environmental Protection Law and has a more comprehensive purpose - it serves as a base to develop and update programmes for the protection of the environment against noise pollution. Said programmes help to shape the city's policy for the next 5 years.

The newest edition of the map will therefore require measurements of traffic volume at a minimum of 600 locations at different times of the day and night, including 24-hours continuous measurements. This includes tram noise measurements at 30 test points and railway noise measurements at 20 points.

The Polish capital has had an operational Acoustic Plan since 1999, which identifies the harm to residents caused by road, railway, tram, air and industrial noise. Excessive long-term noise is considered to affect about 104 thousand residents of Warsaw, as the authorities informed.

The main cause is road noise, as nearly 1 out of every 10 inhabitants lives in a place where its permissible levels are exceeded. More negligible sources of noise are tramways with 0.12% of people exposed to it and railways, with just 0.01% of exposure.

The deadline for collecting offers for the tender is set on 16 August, after which the city will select a contractor to carry out the respective measurements and prepare the map.

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