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Environment - Understanding the environment and the impacts of green technologies
“To produce reliable noise maps that help policy-makers formulate effective noise reduction policies”

The problem

Environmental noise pollution is of growing concern in Europe. A European Noise Directive (2002/49/EC) was formulated to assess the scale of the problem. Improved assessment methods are needed, however, in order to implement this policy successfully. In particular, the integration of noise assessment from diverse sources (roads, rail, aircraft and industry) into one model will aid in the construction of noise maps, and will help to determine the effectiveness of noise abatement measures.

IMAGINE  A holistic approach to mapping and modelling noise pollution


IMAGINE aims to harmonise the assessment of environmental noise for improved noise mapping.

The project will provide:

  • Guidelines for noise data management and noise mapping
  • Indications on how and when direct measurement should supplement the computation of noise levels to improve the quality of assessments
  • Source descriptions of road, rail, aircraft and industrial noise within an integrated environmental noise database
  • Accessible output in the form of noise maps for noise action planning.

Contribution to policy development:


  • Produce strategic noise maps as required under the European Directive on the Assessment and Management of Environmental Noise (2002/49/EC)
  • Provide noise control standards and information to facilitate decision-making for noise action planning and policy
  • Contribute to a better understanding of the effectiveness of different noise-control policy options

Project deliverables

  • Specifications for noise database and GIS mapping – January 2006
  • Guidelines for noise monitoring and measurement - August 2006
  • Integrated reference database of environmental noise to generate noise maps – January 2007
  • Guidelines of how to deal with atypical situations – January 2007


  • Website – March 2004
  • Internet forum and electronic newsletters – March 2004
  • Workshops – August 2004 (N. Europe), November 2004 (S. Europe)
  • Final conference – June 2006
  • Final synthesis report – February 2007

Technical information

Project acronym: IMAGINE
Project’s official full title: Improved Methods for the Assessment of the Generic Impact of Noise in the Environment
Research priority: 1.5 Environmental Assessment. Task 3
Specific webpage:
Proposal/contract no: 503549
Start date: 01/12/2003
Kick off meeting: Not available
Completion date: 01/02/2007
European Commission scientific officer: Mogens Gadeberg (

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