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Noise Pollution Assignment Discussing Possible Solutions


Task: You are a systems thinking specialist who has been approached by a local government for advice on mitigating traffic noise. The specific area they are most concerned about is a light commercial district that fronts on an arterial road, and contains numerous small stores as well as two supermarkets, a service station, a gym, and four restaurants. The arterial road has on and off ramps to a freeway about one kilometre from the shopping centre. There are few houses on the arterial road, but there are numerous houses behind the shopping centre and on internal small streets. This residential area does extend close to the freeway on-ramps, but is separated from it by a small park. There is also a secondary school in the area; this school is considered high-quality and there is high demand for places in it.
The local government area has condensed its discussion into the following questions which you must address. You should use the principles of systems thinking and analysis which you have learned so far, and can refer to the articles included as part of this assignment to see how some similar issues may have been addressed elsewhere. If you wish to refer to additional articles not included here, you may do so as well; use the included articles as an indication of what sorts of things to look for, and make sure that anything you use is referenced appropriately.
You do not need to address specific monetary costs or Australian building standards in your responses – you can assume that the details of this will be worked out by the local government once they make a decision, so you can make general comments (“relatively cheap” vs “relatively expensive”, etc).

  1. A number of local residents have complained about increased traffic in recent years, which they associate with the freeway. Do you believe this is the only factor involved here? What other sorts of driving forces are likely to be relevant here, and is there anything we could do to address this?
  2. Residents have expressed concern about noise from the freeway, but we have also found that the park between the houses and the on-ramps is popular among locals. One possibility we have looked into is building some sort of a noise-blocking installation in this area of the neighbourhood, using at least part of the park’s land to do so. Do you recommend this? Why or why not?
  3. Our surveys indicate that many of our local residents shop both at the local stores and in other neighbourhoods. How might this be related to our noise problems, and is there anything we could do to address this?
  4. Some councillors and parents of children from the secondary school have expressed concern about traffic problems near the school, including speeding, parking in a way that blocks the street, and congestion at drop-off and pick-up times. How might these issues be related to our noise problems, and is there anything we could do to address this?
  5. Our council has been in contact with property developers who are interested in redeveloping some local residences as units. Is this likely to impact on our noise problems? What could we do to address this?


The present noise pollution assignment discusses about the contemporary global societies encountering noise pollution are serious threat to heath and eco-system. Noise pollution has a multidimensional impact due to traffic noise, high volume noise and noise due to usage of crackers etcetera.

Noise problems affect millions of people regularly in their daily life. It causes numerous health problems and the most common are, "Noise-Induced Hearing Loss" (NIHL), high blood pressure, cardiac diseases, sleep disturbances and stress, disablement in memory, child health, attention level, and reading skills starts waving off, arise in mental problems (Gupta, et al., 2018). These health problems have no age bias.

In this report on noise pollution assignment, the noise problems created by the traffic issues nearby a residential area including a school and shopping areas will be discussed along with possible solution to mitigate the problem. The main goal of this project is to detect the reasons for noise problems and their possible solutions in the neighborhood.

1.1 Involvement of other factors for noise pollution
Traffic noise is a major source of noise problems for residential areas. These issues may be aircraft noise, construction noise in the neighborhood, industrial noise or noise from the nearby shopping areas, higher speed of vehicles on the road, and unusual using the horns.

1.2 Addressing and approaching the solutions
Mitigating the factors inducing noise pollution would be the strategic approach while formulating appropriate solution for noise pollution. There are numerous approaches based on which the noise pollution can be mitigated such as highway planning and traffic noise reduction etcetera.

  1. Planning and designing of the highway - In the very beginning, highway agencies need to perform a noise study to determine the noise problems with the project. Noise barriers and traffic control system must be included in the plan and design of the highway and roads(Arenas, et al., 2013). Also, using materials that absorb vibrations and noise is preferable for the planned construction.
  2. Reducing noise on existing roads – As discussed in this noise pollution assignment, there are many processes to reduce noise on existing highways and roads: Rebuilding the road by managing the traffic, planting sufficient vegetation alongside the road, and constructing barriers. Installation of noise insulation is also a useful method to reduce this problem. Also, planting internal decorative plants inside the free space of the building will help to solve the issue mentioned in this section of noise pollution assignment (Jorge, 2008).

1.3 Public health issues
Due to the noise problem, different types of health issues could occur. Such as:

  1. Cardiovascular Effects-Excessive noise problems lead to increase blood pressure for individuals and may result in severe "cardiac attacks".
  2. "Psychological impacts"- Psychological disorders can grow due to noise problems such as disorders and aggressive reactions.
  3. "Stress"-It has been observed from many types of research that, noise disturbances have a great impact leads to a stressful life.
  4. "Child development"- Considering the residential area including a high-grade school with noise problems may affect the physical development of the children(Ilyas, et al., 2019). Also "low-birth-weight" and "birth-defects" may occur if mothers are living in a noisy environment.

2.1 What are the recommendations for noise blocking installation in the park between houses provided in the context of noise pollution assignment?
Some of the primary cause of noise pollution in the neighborhood is irregularities in the flowing of fluid, creation of mechanical shocks which occurs between solids, friction between solids and vibration (Bravo-Moncayo, et al., 2017). This could be maintained and reduced by lubricating the moving parts of the equipment or replacing or adjusting the equipment creating noise (Carvalho & Rocha, 2005).

In this noise pollution assignment, it is clear that for the noise problems created by traffic issues, it is necessary to consider the need for "conjugated mitigation" measures. It could be "noise barriers", "covering of walls with absorbent materials", "Facade Sound Insulation" and, controlling the traffic speed limit with high-speed cameras to determine the speed restriction. It is an excellent approach to install "noise insulation" inside the land of the park. Useful methods are as follows:

  1. OBSI method ("Onboard Sound intensity method")-It was developed for researching the sound produced by tires. The hardware of OBSI includes a pair of microphone which is specially tuned. The microphone only captures and records the noise of the "tire-pavement interface(Bravo-Moncayo, et al., 2017)." After the completion of the measurement, taking appropriate measures, and rebuilding the road will reduce the issue.
  2. DGCP ("Diamond ground concrete pavement")-According to the reports and researches considered to prepare this noise pollution assignment, it has been proved that DGCP can produce the quietest surface and minimize the friction.

Data driven marketing

Figure 1: (DGCP) "Diamond Ground Concrete Pavement" structure (ACPA)

2.2 Appropriate reasons for it
The noise problem is a common issue in the parking area, so it is required for the study developed in the noise pollution assignment to mitigate the issue. "Noise blocking installations” like DGCP or and speed control barriers in the parking area will be an excellent approach to reducing the noise problem (Chebil, et al., 2019). There are also some other types of noise blocking installation methods noted herein noise pollution assignment like OFGC ("Open Graded Friction Course"), this is not so popular because of its durability issues. 

From the evaluation done in the noise pollution assignment, we will get to know that UTBWC ("Ultra-Thin Bonded Wearing Course") is also another good solution to reducing parking zone noises. With a small change in elevation, it is a long-lasting solution that extends the pavement life also.

3. Noise pollution in the shopping areas
3.1 Noise problem related to shopping areas: It is a common factor discussed herein noise pollution assignment that the shopping area or shopping malls are located nearby the roads with heavy traffic which causes the high potential of noise problems (Halim, et al., 2017). It is a great problem for the locales that used to visit the nearby shops and shopping malls for their daily need. Noise problem disrupts these people and restricts them in several ways which are required to be measured properly (Wang, et al., 2012).

3.2 Addressing and approaching solutions for it

Noise problem issues


"Traffic density"

Using cycles and walking tendency will reduce heavy traffic density, concepts of "parking management and proper traffic management

"Heavy goods vehicles"

Restricting the heavy goods vehicles and designing different routes for it (Ruiz-Padillo, et al., 2016).

"Road surface issues"

Road maintenance concepts and using "low noise road surfaces"

"Vehicle speed"

Limiting the speed of vehicles is a good measure, vehicles with high speed produce a high rate of noise.

"Public transport renewal issues along with heavy goods vehicles"

Introducing and promoting low-noise "public transport and heavy goods vehicles"

"Unnecessary usage of horns"

The traffic management team must restrict the frequent usage of horns unnecessarily (Sanchez, et al., 2016).

Table 1: Addressing the noise problem and its possible solutions.

4. Complaints from the councilors and parents considered in the current noise pollution assignment
4.1 Noise problems including traffic speed, parking, and congestion near the school
Since the secondary school is near the road, it is very common that there will be lots of problems regarding the noise issue which includes mainly the speed of vehicles and overall congestion at the drop and pickup time.

4.2 Possible solution to the problem
Restricting the specific area as a silence zone will reduce the noise problems caused by horns.

  1. The speed limit needs to be restricted which will lower the noise density and also will help to reduce road accidents since the school is at a nearby place(Paslawski, 2009).
  2. Creating a parking plot on the school premises should be only used by the parents and other school transport vehicles.
  3. The proper traffic management system must be provided by the government to avoid unusual blocking of the road to reduce congestion.

5. Redeveloping the local residences as units
5.1 Impact of noise problems at redevelopment area: The concept of redevelopment explored in the noise pollution assignment simply means the construction of the residential houses. It causes a high rate of sound problems. Heavy machines, power generators, and other equipment produce loud noises and also some unusual noise produced due to the labors and workers of the construction site (Rochat & Reiter, 2016). The high rate of noise problems can affect the health of the neighborhood residents such as hearing issues, the habit of speaking loudly, sleeping problems, and an increase in blood pressure.

5.2 Solution of noise problem in the redevelopment area
There are several methods outlined in the next section of noise pollution assignment that may be applied to reduce the noise problem. Such as:

  1. "Engineering Controls"-using quieter equipment, barriers, and "damping materials" will reduce the noise problem
  2. "Barrier protection"-Using barriers to restrict public entry inside the redevelopment area
  3. "Modifying old machinery"-Old machines have louder noise while the new ones are much quieter. Using new machinery and modifying the existing old machines may solve the noise problem to an extent(Kwon, et al., 2016).

"Scheduling work activities"-positioning the high noise machines as far as possible from schools, residential areas, and hospitals. This will reduce the negative impact of the noise problem of the neighborhood area.

6. Conclusion
This project on noise pollution assignment is mainly about noise problems nearby a residential area including a secondary school and shopping markets. The impact of noise produced by the traffic is discussed in the first chapter with the possible solutions to measure the problems. Using the DGCP ("Diamond Ground Concrete Pavement") to reduce the noise produced by the traffic is also explained briefly within this noise pollution assignment. The negative issues of noise pollution near the shopping market due to heavy traffic are also described with the approaches to its solutions.

Arenas, C., Leiva, C., Vilches, L. F. & Cifuentes, H., 2013. Use of co-combustion bottom ash to design an acoustic absorbing material for highway noise barriers. Noise pollution assignment Waste management, 33(11), pp. 2316-2321.

Bravo-Moncayo, L., Naranjo, J. L., García, I. P. & Mosquera, R., 2017. Neural based contingent valuation of road traffic noise. Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, Volume 50, pp. 26-39.

Carvalho, A. & Rocha, C., 2005. Social Acoustic Survey and Noise Mitigation Solutions on a Portuguese Urban Highway. Environmental noise control, p. 5.

Chebil, J., Ghaeb, J., Fekih, M. A. & Habaebi, M. H., 2019. Assessment of Road Traffic Noise: A Case Study in Monastir City.. Jordan Journal of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering, 13(3).

Gupta, A., Gupta, A., Jain, K. & Gupta, S., 2018. Noise pollution and impact on children health. The Indian Journal of Pediatrics, 85(4), pp. 300-306.

Halim, H. et al., 2017. Assessment of road traffic noise indices in urban residential areas of Klang Valley, Malaysia. s.l., AIP Publishing LLC, p. 040002.

Ilyas, M. et al., 2019. Estimation Of Noise Levels In The Road Side Parks And Study Of Its Impacts On Health Of Visitors In Faisalabad. Earth Sciences Pakistan (ESP), 3(1), pp. 14-22.

Jorge, A., 2008. Potential problems with environmental sound barriers when used in mitigating surface transportation noise. Science of the total environment, p. 173 – 179.

Kwon, N. et al., 2016. Construction noise management using active noise control techniques. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 142(7), p. 04016014.

Paslawski, J., 2009. Flexibility in highway noise management. Transport, 24(1), pp. 66-75.

Rochat, J. L. & Reiter, D., 2016. Highway traffic noise. Acoust. Today, 12(4), p. 38.

Ruiz-Padillo, A., Ruiz, D. P., Torija, A. J. & Ramos-Ridao, Á., 2016. Selection of suitable alternatives to reduce the environmental impact of road traffic noise using a fuzzy multi-criteria decision model. Environmental Impact Assessment Review, Volume 61, pp. 8-18.

Sanchez, G. M. E., Van Renterghem, T., Thomas, P. & Botteldooren, D., 2016. The effect of street canyon design on traffic noise exposure along roads. Noise pollution assignment Building and Environment, Volume 97, pp. 96-110.

Wang, G., Smith, G. & Shores, . R., 2012. Pavement noise investigation on North Carolina highways: an on-board sound intensity approach. Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering, pp. 878-886.


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