Noise abatement action plan 2018–2022 in accordance with the environmental noise directive of the Cities of Espoo and Kauniainen

Road traffic is the most significant source of environmental noise in Espoo and Kauniainen. The most effective way to combat noise nuisance caused by traffic is good zoning. Since it is not always possible to combat noise sufficiently by means of zoning, the noise control action plan for the years 2018–2022 presents nine measures to improve the noise situation, which aim to have a favourable effect on the traffic noise situation in Espoo and Kauniainen. The plan is based on a noise mapping prepared in 2017.

The noise sources discussed in the action plan are traffic on the main roads and distributor roads. In addition, some of the measures are aimed at road noise control, which is mainly the responsibility of the Finnish Transport Agency.

The city of Espoo’s noise abatement working group monitors the implementation of the measures of the noise abatement action plan every year. Most of the measures of the previous noise control action plan 2013–2017 were implemented during the period. Some of the measures are ongoing, and their implementation is still ongoing.

Espoo’s long-term noise prevention strategy aims to increase the share of public transport, cycling and walking, improve the noise resistance of residential areas, promote the introduction of less noisy technology, electronic public transport, the introduction of intelligent traffic control, and the maintenance and communication of noise prevention work data. These long-term goals are aimed at with the help of nine measures planned for the next five-year period 2018–2022. The four most important measures of the plan are the construction of noise barriers at eight sites, promoting the preservation of quiet areas, increasing the share of electric buses in public transport and promoting rail transport projects in Espoo.

Thanks to the measures, the number of people exposed to noise can be reduced, although when densifying the urban structure, it is also necessary to build in areas that are unfavourable in terms of noise. The noise barriers designed to be built will reduce the number of people suffering from noise above 55dB by about 1,500 residents. Adding quiet areas to the city’s internal map service contributes to the preservation of important destinations for city residents in the future. The measures also enable the use of city bikes, electric cars and buses, which produce less noise, and increase the share of rail transport in public transport.