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Verteilungswirkung von Verkehrslärm in Berlin - Methoden und Ergebnisse

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Noise causes a variety of negative impacts on human wellbeing and health. The main impacts are considered to be annoyance due to noise and health impacts. Traffic noise emission levels may vary greatly on a very small scaled level due to differences in traffic flows, distances between source and receiver, as well as reflection and attenuation. This may lead to a rather unequal distribution of noise exposition among the inhabitants of an urban environment. In our analysis, we examine whether this unequal noise distribution reflects the social distribution of a city, leading to a situation where most deprived social groups are affected most by noise. For this purpose, we use data from strategic noise maps in order to compute external noise costs per exposed person on the level of street sections. We thereby transfer noise exposition to a single monetary unit, allowing us to directly compare different noise levels and to quantify the economic damage associated with high noise exposition. In a next step, noise costs are overlaid with differentiated information about the social composition of neighborhoods. The indicators used are the share of inhabitants with migration background as well as the share of inhabitants receiving social welfare on the level of street sections. The results show that noise exposure differs significantly between the analyses socio-demographic groups. Noise costs are on average twice as high for the most advantaged groups compared to the least advantaged groups. The results clearly state, that noise mitigation measures are not only a matter of environmental protection but also of social planning and public health.


Becker, Thilo; Friedemann, Julia (2012): Verteilungswirkung von Verkehrslärm in Berlin - Methoden und Ergebnisse. Frühwarn- und Informationssysteme für den Hochwasserschutz. Dessau-Roßlau: Umweltbundesamt. Frühwarn- und Informationssysteme für den Hochwasserschutz. Dresden. 2012