Road traffic noise disease burden estimates for a model study of varying urban morphology cases
Paper in proceeding, 2021

In a model study containing 31 different building morphologies in an urban setting, road traffic noise exposure has been calculated and analysed. For five of the building morphologies also vegetation surfaces on facades and roofs were studied. The facade exposure levels were analysed for both smaller (single-sided) flats and larger (floor-through) flats, considering the direct exposure from the roads as well as the non-direct exposure at noise-shielded positions like inner yards, applying a noise mapping software in combination with a prediction model for the non-direct exposure. Using noise indicators Lden and Lnight, the disease burden, in terms of DALY (Disability-Adjusted Life Years) per person, was estimated and analysed, via predictions of annoyance and sleep disturbance. As general trends, perimeter blocks were shown to perform better than morphologies with less enclosed yards and densification was shown to result in improved performance, assuming a constant traffic flow. In addition, complementing the perimeter blocks with towers was shown to enable improvement. Furthermore, traffic concentration by locating all local traffic to a single road was shown to be beneficial, increasingly so by widening the road. The use of facade vegetation was shown to result in significant overall improvement.


Roads and streets

Acoustic noise



Jens Forssén

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Applied Acoustics

Andreas Gustafson

Meta Berghauser Pont

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Urban Design and Planning

Marie Haeger-Eugensson


University of Gothenburg

Christine Achberger


Niklas Rosholm

Environmental Office

Proceedings of INTER-NOISE 2021 - 2021 International Congress and Exposition of Noise Control Engineering

9781732598652 (ISBN)

50th International Congress and Exposition of Noise Control Engineering, INTER-NOISE 2021
Washington, USA,

Increasing cities' capacity to manage noise and air quality using urban morphology and urban greening

Formas (2017-00914), 2018-01-01 -- 2020-12-31.

Subject Categories

Infrastructure Engineering

Building Technologies

Environmental Health and Occupational Health



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