Satellite "European Noise Policy"

Examples of successful implementation of noise action plans in German cities

Antje Janssen, Shareholder and Manager of the LK Argus Kassel GmbH


According to a study of the Federal Environmental Agency were 1,131 noise action plans (round 2) reported in Germany until January 1, 2015, which were completed, in progress, or in check at that time. These cover almost a fifth of all noise-mapped community.
The basic state of implementation of the noise action planning in Germany does still not include statements about the success of the noise action planning.
However, when can a successful implementation of noise action plans be assumed? Regarding the different action levels of the noise action plans the following aspects of success need to be considered:
(a) when it gets more quiet - so the noise exposure and affection is immediately reduced by the implementation of actions regarding the noise action plans
(b) if interests of noise protection are involved in the spatial planning and considered, that increases in noise exposure and noise affection are avoided or reduced with the instruments of urban and transport planning (strategic approach)
(c) when by using the noise action planning an awareness of the requirements of noise reduction as health and safety in the society (politics, citizenship,…) is achieved (approach of public participation)
The lecture is responsive to the various action levels of noise action planning and represents examples of successful implementation of actions regarding the noise action plans in German cities.

Short Vita

●    born 1963
●    Study "Spatial and environmental planning" at the University of Kaiserslautern and
      "Urban planning"at Gesamthochschule Kassel University
●    10/91-06/08 employee and project leader in a Consultants Office for urban plan-
      ning and traffic planning
●    2003-2005 visiting lecturer at the University of Kassel Faculty of Architecture, Urban
      Landscape Planning, Department of Urban and Regional Planning on the subject of noise reduction
●    Since January 2009 shareholder and Manager of the LK Argus Kassel GmbH, a Consultants Office for
      traffic planning and environmental planning; the main activities and responsibilities are Noise Action
      Planning related to the Environmental Noise Directive (2002/49/EC), Traffic planning and management,
      Mobility research and Mobility management

Excursion to real life examples of Berlin`s noise action plan

M. Sc. Maike Diechmann, Expert on traffic noise and noise action planning at the Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment in Berlin


The excursion starts at Brandenburgische Straße, where the public street space has been rearranged to occupy a cycling lane within the street. At the second stop we will see one of the streets that is part of the pilot project “Begegnungszone” (meeting zone). The Maaßenstraße is a popular residential, shopping and nightlife area which was redesigned in 2015 due to the overlapping demands made by pedestrians, cyclists, residents´ cars and shipping traffic. The reorganization of this limited public street space under inclusion of the relevant public has contributed substantially to the calming of the noise and traffic. As our third stop we will visit the speed limited Katzbachstraße. Because of the speed reduction from 50 km/h to 30 km/h, a level reduction of 3 dB (A) was reached. We will then walk to the Großbeerenstraße where noise reduced asphalt was used. Here we will be able to witness some of the problems that can arise when asphalting. The excursion ends at the beautiful and noise calmed Riehmers Hofgarten, which is a real city oasis and the complete opposite of the busy Yorckstraße, although they are just a stone`s throw apart.

Short Vita

current Expert on traffic noise and noise action planning at the Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment in Berlin

Sales engineer for the work area Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) at HEAD acoustics GmbH in Herzogenrath

Education and Training:

M. Sc. Audio Communication Group at the TU Berlin

B. A. European Media Studies at the University of Potsdam

Physical and mental effects of noise

Jördis Wothge, German Environment Agency


The German Environment Agency regularly conducts representative surveys to assess the impact of noise in Germany. According to the environmental awareness survey carried out in 2014, around 61 % of those interviewed, complained of being disturbed or annoyed by trac noise in the vicinities of their homes. Noise does not just a ect subjective wellbeing and quality of life, but also sleep and contributes to the increase of the risk of cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, it can influence the cognitive performance of children and increase the risk of developing a unipolar depression. This article discusses and evaluates the physical and mental e ects of noise in the light of current research results.

Short Vita

•    B.Sc., Psychology, University of Maastricht & Flinders University, Adelaide; M.Sc.
      (research), Psychology, University of Cologne.

•    Scientific assistance and national project coordination in work-package 4
      “alcohol and marketing” of the EU-research-alliance AMPHORA (Alcohol Public
      Health Research Alliance), Centre for applied psychology, social and environmen-
      tal research, ZEUS GmbH 

•    Scientific officer in the national noise impact study NORAH (Noise related annoy-
      ance and health), University of Bochum   

•    Scientific officer at the German environment agency, Section I 3.4 – Noise abatement of industrial
      plants and products, noise impact

Sustainable transport policy and noise reduction – the case of Berlin

Burkhard Horn, Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment Berlin, Head of Transport Division


Road traffic noise is usually the main source of noise in urban areas. To implement a strategy not only to reduce this problem but to establish a general strategy for sustainable transport policies Berlin has set up an integrated “Urban Transport Development Plan” which meets the standards of the Strategic Urban Mobility plan (SUMP) of the EU. The main political objectives of this strategy are: reducing transport demands, shifting transport towards the use of sustainable modes and abating the noise at the source. Transport planning is the key for the practical implementation of the avoiding and the shifting issue. The Berlin case shows a lot of examples for this approach: from special strategies to improve the conditions for walking and cycling, the extension of the public transport network or the regulation of speed limits (about 75% of the roads in Berlin are limited to a maximum speed of 30 km/h) down to the single measures of street redesign and the reallocation of space to the sustainable transport modes – all this together working towards noise reduction.

Short Vita

Burkhard Horn, born in 1961, is an urban planner and since 2014 head of the transport division in the Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment in Berlin. He is e. g. in charge for all questions of general transport policy and transport development strategies as well as for the street design of the major road network in Berlin. Before that he has been working for the cities of Kassel and Göttingen. He has been working on a wide range of projects (e. g. general transport strategies, cycling strategies, urban goods traffic, traffic safety etc.). Between 2005 and 2014 he has been head of the commission of the leading transport planners in the major german cities.

Railway Noise Control in Germany- a Success Story and an Example for Europe"

Michael Jaecker-Cueppers, Noise Control Association of the German Acoustical Society


It is part of the German sustainability strategy for to shift road freight transportation to rail. Due to the considerable noise impairments mainly by rail freight traffic during the night there is much resistance from the population against this target. Germany has therefore recently improved its noise control policy for the railways. It is based on two pillars.

Noise abatement measures at the railway infrastructure (noise barriers, rail grinding, sound insulation windows etc.) have been implemented in the German Railway Noise Remediation Programme since 1999. Recently this programme has been improved, providing more financial means and aiming at more ambitious target levels.

Since 2012 additional measures are implemented for the rail freight wagon fleet: It is the aim of the German railway noise policy to substitute the current noisy fleet of cast iron block braked wagons by those with alternative braking systems (i. e. composite block brakes) by the end of 2020.
There are two main instruments to stimulate this process. The government pays a mileage dependent bonus to the wagon keepers who retrofit their vehicles. And the infrastructure manager has introduced a noise differentiated track access charge with a mileage dependent bonus for retrofitted wagons and a malus for noisy trains.

The promising results of both the programmes (infrastructure, wagon fleet) will be described. The German approach could be a model for an improved European railway noise policy.



Short Vita


Born in 1944

Study at the Technical University of Berlin and the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville; Degree: Diplom-Ingenieur (Civil Engineer)

Up to 1982
Scientific employee at the Technical University of Berlin (Research on the vibrations of rotating machinery)

Scientific employee German Federal Environment Agency, Berlin/Dessau in the units “Urban Noise Control” and “Transportation Noise Control”; final position: head of the Unit “Transportation Noise Control”

Since 2000
Lecturer on “Urban Noise Control” at the Technical University of Berlin

Consultant to the Federal Ministry of the Environment

1999 – 2004
Chairman of the WG Railway Noise of the European Commission

2011 to 2014
NGO-representative in the European Working Groups on Sound Emission Regulation for Rail Bound Vehicles and Noise Differentiated Track Access Charges

May 2009 - March 2015
chairman of the “Arbeitsring Lärm der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Akustik” (Noise Control Association of the German Acoustic Society), since then vice-chair.