Collaborative Web-Based System for Knowledge Transfer to Distributed Groups of Users Within Strategic Noise Mapping Domain

Collaborative Web-Based System for Knowledge Transfer to Distributed Groups of Users Within Strategic Noise Mapping Domain

Marcin Dąbrowski
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/ijdst.2013100104
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The Environmental Noise Directive (Directive 2002/49/EC) obliged competent authorities to prepare strategic noise maps (SNM) and actions plans (AP) for the major roads, railways, airports and agglomerations with more than 100 000 inhabitants. Both SNM and AP have to be updated every five years, that is why procedures of creating, using and administrating of SNM and AP can be considered as constant processes. These processes are very complex and require specialized knowledge and practical skills within noise mapping area and connected with them proper experience of SNM usage and AP enforcement. Unfortunately as experience shows, Polish administrators of SNM are not competent enough to meet these requirements. The problem outlined above has become the basis to develop web-based system for knowledge transfer to SNM administrators, covering such key issues as: the preparation of guidelines for SAM, gathering the appropriate input data for acoustic model and the subsequent verification of developed SAM.
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The level of noise is one of the most important factors influencing the quality of life in urban areas. Every year the problem of noise in the cities is becoming more and more significant. In order to improve this unfavorable tendency, the European Commission has undertaken the efforts to develop tools for managing noise in urban areas as well as for planning actions to reduce noise levels. This efforts has been reflected in the EU Directive 2002/49/EC (known also as The Environmental Noise Directive - END). The Directive has been applied to all Member States of the European Union. As a result (Murphy & King, 2010) in all Member States the competent authorities for the major roads, railways, airports and agglomerations with more than 100 000 inhabitants are obliged to develop strategic acoustic maps (SAM) of urban areas. Then (Rocha & Carvalho, 2007) on the base of previously generated SAM there should be also created local programs of reducing noise impact on population, called action plans (AP).

Also the Polish legislation related to the END (Act “Environmental Protection Law”), obliged the local authorities of Polish cities to include in spatial planning - procedures, conclusions and recommendations, arising from the SNM. Such maps should be the basis for administrative decision making.

The implementation of such a complex and difficult task, which is the creation a SNM and related action plans for noise reduction, requires appropriate substantive preparation of units obliged to these tasks. This problem has been identified at numerous meetings and consultations carried out by the research team members of Institute of Production Engineering while the collaboration with local governments of selected Polish cities. These consultations were often carried out at the stage of early implementation of the END in Poland. During the consultation meetings our partners form selected local government units pointed out the complexity of the creation and usage of the SNM. They have emphasized the need for competent and precise preparation of procedures for data collection and creation of strategic acoustic map. Also the problem of using complex and narrowly specialized tools, such as the appropriate databases for data collecting or visualizing systems for acoustic climate of the city, have been identified. The main conclusion from the consultations was that the administrators of SNM (local government units and the other aforementioned units responsible for SNM creation) need the support by competent experts at all the stages of creating and using SNM. That issue became the starting point to prepare the supporting system for knowledge transfer to the interested groups o users, especially to the administrators of SNM.

This paper presents the supporting system that is the result of the project, called: “Network-based system for supporting administrators of strategic acoustic maps of urban areas”, financed by The Polish National Centre for Research and Development (NCBiR). In this paper the author describes the process of development of the supporting system and presents some practical aspects of its implementation.

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