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QCITY
Quiet City Transport

This project will develop an integrated technology infrastructure for the efficient control of ambient noise from road and rail. The activity supports the European noise policy to eliminate harmful effects of noise exposure and decrease levels of transport noise, especially in urban areas, deriving solutions that will ensure compliance with the constraints of legislative limits.

Tags: Multimodal

Background

The project objectives are fully compliant with the requirements and needs of the final end users: municipalities and industry. The municipalities and industry need, in order to comply with EC regulations, to create noise maps, identify and analyse the noise hot spots and quiet areas, and prepare proper action plans. The QCITY project addresses this need by providing the municipalities with the tools to meet these requirements (eventually through service providers) and to provide industry with products that enable them to carry out the provisions of the action plans. All the choices made in this work plan and in the partner selection have to be seen from this single point of view: the proposed solutions have to be relatively easy to implement in a short time by the municipalities (as part of the action plans), they have to be generally applicable, perform at low cost and be accepted by all parties involved. Solutions which require, for example, changes in the vehicle design (e.g. new powertrains) are not compliant with the above. This is why the involvement of vehicle manufacturers is small. Highly critical is the involvement of the tyre manufacturer, Goodyear, and wheel set manufacturer, Lucchini, since solutions at vehicle/infrastructure interface are much easier to implement in time and have a significant effect.

Objectives

QCITY proposes a range of measures and solutions that can realistically be integrated both from an economic, as well as a practical, point of view in the action plans, which the cities (municipalities) will have to produce as a consequence of the EC Noise Directive 2002/49/EC. QCITY starts with the identification of hot spots on existing noise maps from a large number of cities. Some noise hot spots are then researched in detail with specific software in order to find the root cause of the problems. Various solutions will be studied for each of the selected hot spots and their effects determined, also considering the number of people affected and the degree of impact. Besides addressing transport noise problems with conventional technical solutions, QCITY incorporates issues such as traffic control, town planning, architectural features, noise perception issues, intermodal transport, change between transport modes, traffic restrictions, enforcement measures, economic incentive measures, introduction of hybrid vehicles and new guided public transport vehicles. In the first phase, the emphasis will be on noise mapping, and on the conceptual design of the considered solutions and their potential impact. In the second phase, the most promising solutions will be designed in detail for a specific hot-spot problem selected in each participating city. The solutions will be implemented "in situ" and validated.

Description of work

QCITY is a four-year project divided into seven different subprojects (SP).

SP1: Noise maps and modelling - handles the analysis of hot spots on city noise maps, which includes detailed analysis with the aid of simulations and measurements.

SP2: Vehicle sources - aims at the development and validation of pertinent tools for noise control at source from road and rail traffic, including traffic control measures.

SP3: Vehicle/infrastructure interface - addresses the development and validation of tools for noise control that examine and can analyse measures for the vehicle/infrastructure interface for road and rail traffic (tyre/road, wheel/rail).

SP4: Propagation and receiver parameters - tackles the development and validation of tools that investigate the influence of sound propagation and receiver parameters, including measures relating to town planning.

SP5: Design and implementation of solutions at validation sites - uses the final detailed designs of all retained solutions and implements these solutions for validation in the cities concerned. The validation sites will also be used for dissemination and promotional purposes.

SP6: Consolidation – Action plans – Dissemination - collects and consolidates all data from the various SPs and bundles them into an action plan that will be disseminated to all interested stakeholders.

SP7: Management - maintains total oversight of the project.

Results

The QCITY project will produce two comprehensive action plans: the first one aims at the general improvement of the noise climate, whilst the second one addresses solutions to noise complaints. The noise action plan consolidates the noise reduction measures from the various SPs and provides overviews of reduction through traffic planning, through the reduction of emissions from road and rail traffic, through noise barriers and physical town planning. The overview will consist of lists of possible measures and a set of features associated with each measure. These include the expected noise reduction, the cost and limitations in applicability. The overviews are translated in such a way that, when used in conjunction with noise maps, cities can use them to make a first selection of possible measures for their noise action plan. The handling of complaints will be based on a toolbox with specific measures to reduce specific localised noise emissions from road and rail traffic. The toolbox will also include a set of features associated with each measure that includes the expected noise reduction, the cost and the limitations in applicability.

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