Urban sound planners will take a holistic approach to planning acoustics in cities

PRESS RELEASE: Recruitment of students has started for a European research school focused on urban sound planning. Together with European cities, acoustic consultants, architects and research institutes, Chalmers University of Technology and other universities will train 14 “urban sound planners”, which also will have the opportunity to receive a PhD in the subject.

​To achieve a good acoustic environment outdoors, which improves health and wellbeing, a holistic view is needed within urban sound planning. For the planning processes related to urban acoustic environments to be successful, specialists are required who have broad research expertise covering areas such as acoustic prediction methods, noise control and soundscaping, as well as city and traffic planning.
“The soundscape is determined as early as at the drawing board”, says project coordinator Wolfgang Kropp at Applied Acoustics, Chalmers University of Technology.
Within acoustics, there are several traditionally separated expert areas, which need to be tied together through better communication and broadened understanding. This concerns:
• state-of-the-art sound prediction tools for shielded and quiet areas
• soundscaping, including aspects of behaviour science and psychology
• large-scale noise and traffic planning
• in-depth inside knowledge on noise control measures such as screening, absorption, ground effect, low-noise road surfaces, et cetera.
A successful project will also require the knowledge and tools that only exist on a research level to be transferred to tools that can be applied in practice.
The Division of Applied Acoustics at Chalmers is now coordinating the European project Sonorus, a research school which is an Initial Training Network (ITN) within FP7. The Division of Applied Acoustics has a great deal of previous experience from national (e.g. Soundscape Support to Health) and international research projects, for instance from coordinating a number of European projects. This ITN project is, however, the first one to be coordinated by Chalmers.
From a long-term perspective, the project aims to produce a large number of urban sound planners that can reverse the negative trend of a deteriorating acoustic outdoor environment in urban areas, as well as enhance the European knowledge economy.
The students accepted to the research school can look forward to a large international exchange within Europe. The cities involved are Berlin, Antwerp, Brighton/Hove and Rome, where real-life cases studies will be made. Exchange between cities and other partners will take place during the project. Also, joint workshops and courses will take place, e.g. about urban sound propagation, noise control in urban areas, computational soundscape analysis, virtual acoustics and communication.
The EC contribution is €3.8M

Facts about the Sonorus project
Coordinating partner: Chalmers University of Technology.
Other partners: Eindhoven University of Technology, Seconda Università degli Studi di Napoli SUN, The University of Sheffield, Ghent University, Müller-BBM, The Italian National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research, EMPA, SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden.
Associated partners: Planungsbuero Richter-Richard, Roma Capitale, Dipartimento Tutela Ambientale e del Verde – Protezione Civile, City of Berlin – Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment, AG Stadsplanning Antwerpen, Brighton & Hove, The Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research.

Project coordinator: Wolfgang Kropp, Division of Applied Acoustics, Chalmers University of Technology.
Tel: +46 31- 772 22 00
Seventh Framework Programme for Research, FP7, People: