Introduction: With the development of transportation system and the economy, the rapidly increasing number of automobiles brings the associated problem of road traffic noise, especially in metropolitan and densely populated high-rise cities like Hong Kong. In Hong Kong, approximately one million people are affected by severe road traffic noise. Excessive noise exposure is hazardous to the health and wellbeing of people and therefore has drawn progressively more attention in Hong Kong. The Calculation of Road Traffic Noise (CRTN) has been adopted as the sole tool to evaluate road traffic noise in the form of descriptor LA10. The accuracy and suitability of the CRTN method for predicting road traffic noise in Hong Kong were evaluated in this study by comparing the prediction results and measured traffic noise levels. The results show that the CRTN method was able to provide adequate predictions with correlation coefficients of 0.8032 and 0.7626 between the predicted and measured LA10for 2007 and 2017 respectively. The predicted traffic noise levels on different floors of seven selected residential buildings in 2017 were compared with those predictions for the same buildings in 2007. The worsening traffic noise exposure in these residential buildings was analysed and some suggestions and counter-measures to alleviate the traffic noise problems are put forward. Since the situation of Hong Kong is an example of what may happen in other cities, the present longitudinal study of the road traffic noise in Hong Kong hopes to contribute to a better urban acoustic environment worldwide. Context: Excessive noise exposure is hazardous to the health and wellbeing of people and therefore has drawn progressively more attention in Hong Kong. The urban road traffic noise exposure of residential buildings in Hong Kong over the past decade has been analysed. Aims: This study aims to assess the road traffic noise exposure of residential buildings over the past decade. Settings and Design: Measurements of traffic noise levels at some selected residential buildings were first conducted in 2007, and then repeated at the same buildings in 2017. Material and Methods: The CRTN was adopted to predict the traffic noise levels based on the recorded traffic flow data. Results: The exposure of these buildings to road traffic noise is higher in 2017 than in 2007. The study illustrates that the deterioration of the urban acoustic environment may not be caused by an increased total number of vehicles, but that heavy vehicles are dominantly responsible for the increased traffic noise levels. Restriction of vehicle velocity for urban street canyons is useless for road traffic noise control. Conclusions: This study shows the deterioration of traffic noise levels is mainly due to the increased heavy vehicles instead of the increased total number of vehicles. The alleviation of traffic noise levels by velocity restriction may not be obvious for urban street canyons and may only work with a certain velocity range.
- Calculation of road traffic noise
- residential buildings
- road traffic noise
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Speech and Hearing