Measures of noise action planning (APUG NRW)


Survey for the project on health effects


Noise pollution can have psychosocial effects, e.g. impaired communication and efficiency at work, and cause health impairments such as hearing impairments, sleep disorders, and cardiovascular diseases. The European Union directive relating to the assessment and management of environmental noise therefore called for a mapping of noise pollution and for a reduction of any noise pollution exceeding the set limit values. Many municipalities then created noise maps and implemented reduction measures. As traffic noise is the largest source of environmental noise in cities, transport measures are an important part of reducing noise pollution. This raised the question of how these measures are perceived by the residents and whether they can improve health. In this project, traffic noise reduction measures were studied in the cities of Düsseldorf, Essen, and Bottrop, while measures to reduce rail noise were studied in Duisburg and Düsseldorf.

Aims of the project:

The project aimed to describe the effects of implemented noise reduction measures in cities. In doing so, we particularly analysed the effects of the measures on the residents, i.e. their perception of the effects and changes in health impairments such as sleep disorders.

Project contents and structure:

In the first step, existing knowledge on health impairments caused by environmental noise and on noise reduction measures was collected, summarized and presented. In addition, the specific situations of the cities were recorded, analysed, and compared. The effects of the measures were ascertained by a standardized written questionnaire for the residents and an additional 15-20 qualitative interviews. The survey focuses on the residents’ perception of noise and its effect on their health. On this basis, we made recommendations for measures to achieve the highest possible benefit for the residents.


We would like to thank all residents who participated in the questionnaire and the telephone interviews. Ms Lorenz (Düsseldorf) and Ms Hilse (Düsseldorf) each won a €50 Amazon gift certificate. The winners have been notified.

Commissioned by:

The North Rhine-Westphalia Ministry of Climate Protection, the Environment, Agriculture, Conservation and Consumer Protection (Ministerium für Klimaschutz, Umwelt, Landwirtschaft, Natur- und Verbraucherschutz)

Project duration:

November 2010 – April 2011

Contacts at the ISB:

Dr.-Ing. Conny Louen (project manager)
Alexander Wehrens M.A.