Urban sound planning

The Urban Sound Planner (SONORUS)

Traffic noise pollution in urban areas is a major environmental problem within the European Union. Creating an acceptable acoustic outdoor environment is a big challenge of high need. Creating as well as preserving environments, which are supportive for health and well-being in a sustainable manner is an even bigger but unavoidable task. In order to succeed, specialists are required with a broad research competence covering areas such as acoustic prediction methods, noise control and soundscaping, but also aspects of city and traffic planning. However, specialists equipped with such a competence spectrum are hardly found. Therefore, the goal of SONORUS is to close this gap and bring together universities, enterprises and public organizations that aim to offer training to ESRs in an arena of trans-disciplinary research. The training is designed around real-life urban test sites that are characterized by a poor acoustic environment due to noise from road, rail or air traffic. These test sites are provided by three major European cities (Berlin, Rome and Antwerp). To these test sites, the ESRs will apply their knowledge and skills gained from individual acoustics related research projects, in-depth courses on acoustics as well as on different aspects of spatial planning. The ESRs will, in teams, design a long-term plan for the development of the acoustic environment on the test sites. This activity will also give the opportunity to train complementary skills such as communication and outreach skills.From SONORUS a new generation of researchers will emerge with the profile adapted to the supra-disciplinary approach needed to reverse the negative trend of a deteriorating acoustic outdoor environment in urban areas. SONORUS has been designed with the intension that these researchers will be best prepared to further develop and above all to apply the new integrated concepts into practical urban planning processes and their effective coordination.

Partner organizations

  • Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca Ambientale (Private, Italy)
  • Ghent university (Academic, Belgium)
  • Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa) (Private, Switzerland)
  • SP Sveriges Tekniska Forskningsinstitut AB (Research Institute, Sweden)
  • University of Sheffield (Academic, United Kingdom)
  • Second University of Naples (Academic, Italy)
  • Müller-BBM (Private, Germany)
  • Technische Universiteit Eindhoven (Academic, Netherlands)
Start date 01/10/2012
End date The project is closed: 30/09/2016
Project leader
Wolfgang Kropp

Project members
Wolfgang Kropp
Jens Forssén
Joachim Scheuren
Laura Estévez Mauriz
Georgios Zachos

Frederik Rietdijk

Contact
Wolfgang Kropp

External partners at the project
Partners: Chalmers University of Technology, 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.

Funded by

  • European Commission (FP7) (Public, Belgium)
Initial Training Network (ITN) on Urban Sound Planning.

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.

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, etc.

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 project is carried out at the Division of Applied Acoustics in research group Vibroacoustics.

More information can be found at Sonorus homepage.

Keywords: Urban sound planning, Urban planing, City planning, Environmental noise, Noise, Outdoor acoustics, Noise prediction, Noise abatement, Soundscaping, Auralization

Chalmers Areas of Advance
​Built Environment

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

Published: Wed 12 Jun 2013. Modified: Fri 07 Sep 2018