Noise partnerships

The Ministry of the Environment has supported five noise partnership demonstration projects. The funds were allocated to noise mitigation and distributed among the municipality, the Ministry of the Environment and affected citizens.

Danish Ministry of the Environment granted funds to five projects 

In 2005, the Danish Ministry of the Environment set aside DKK 4 million for the creation of "financial noise abatement partnerships". These are joint projects by authorities and private citizens to finance noise mitigation. Five demonstration projects for noise abatement have been initiated in Allerød, Aarhus, Copenhagen and Frederiksberg (two projects).

Findings from the projects, in the years between 2005 and 2007, have been collected and published in a guide for noise abatement partnerships.

Download noise partnerships – collaborations between private citizens and authorities (in Danish) (PDF, 1.9MB)

A guide to more easily establish partnerships

The aim of the guide is to simplify collaboration between municipalities and residents to finance noise mitigation measures.

The guide explains that residents in the five projects were willing to help pay the bill in return for a quieter environment. In total, residents paid approximately 40 percent of the DKK 13 million used on construction costs in the five projects.

500 residents in 250 homes found their house and quality of life had improved. The residents were motivated to help pay the costs as housing values would increase once noise levels were reduced. The demonstration projects show that potential rise in economic value is important, however, an improvement in the quality of life is just as equally important a motivation factor for many of the participants.

The partnerships are also an opportunity for the public to be involved in determining the means of noise mitigation.

The consequences of road traffic noise

In 2010, approximately 785,000 homes were affected by road traffic above the noise limit value. Approximately 90 percent of these homes were, and still are, located on municipal roads.

The National Road Noise Strategy (2003) showed that in socio-economic terms, noise mitigation is worth the cost, as it results in fewer annoyances and effects on health. The Road Noise Strategy estimated that 200-500 Danes suffer premature death as a result of exposure to road noise.

Read more about the Danish Road Noise Strategy

Socio-economic advantages of noise mitigation

The advantages of mitigating road traffic noise are significant and will have a better impact for the measures (noise screens, noise reduction glazing, noise-reducing asphalt, etc.), than the costs of mitigating noise. Incentives are therefore in place for both the responsible road authorities and people suffering from the effects of road traffic noise to support noise reduction schemes.

Houses and apartments increase in value as noise is reduced

In addition to the advantages from removing annoyances and protecting health, studies show that noise mitigation also leads to an economic benefit to property owners. Property values increase by just over 1 percent per decibel reduction for houses and approximately 0.5 percent per decibel reduction for apartments. Co-funding noise reduction can thus be seen as an investment for the property owner, as well as an increase in the quality of life.