How do we reduce noise and at the same time build a more glorious city? Well, by bringing together employees who work with noise reduction, urban planning, landscape architecture and sound design in joint projects. Together we work to create a balanced sound level in Helsingborg. This means that they work to develop solutions to reduce traffic noise without the measures creating negative consequences for safety and the cityscape.
The goal is to find methods to reduce noise but also add something positive to the urban environment. In addition to this being a new kind of noise protection, it is also a completely new way for us to work and it is about more than just measuring and attenuating the actual noise levels. This means that we work together to find solutions, and in addition to looking at noise levels, will also evaluate speeds, road safety, security, attractiveness and above all the experience of the place itself to contribute to a positive urban environment.
First out is Eneborgsplatsen, which is located along one of Helsingborg's busier streets. The dense population and the high traffic flow make it difficult to find quiet places for relaxation and play. Eneborgsplatsen is an important place for residents in the immediate area, but the location along the street means that traffic noise is perceived as dominant. To reduce noise levels and create a better sound image, we are building three different types of low brick walls along Eneborgsplatsen and between the lanes on Södra Stenbocksgatan.
We have tested three different techniques to prevent the sound from spreading in different ways. Through these techniques, we can instead make the sound direct down to the ground or make it lead into the wall where it is absorbed. The expected result was about 4 dB attenuation in the park but the result was much better than that! Closest to the walls in the park was the total attenuation up to 8 dB, which is about the same effect as we can otherwise expect from a screen about two meters high. According to measures, the measured noise levels in the park correspond to the guideline value for the park environment in urban areas according to the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency.
The project is now complete. An after-measurement has been made with very positive results and the project has also been nominated for the Sound Environment Award 2021, which is published by the Swedish Acoustic Society.
Our ambition does not end here! As part of the work to rebuild the nearby park, we are also testing a sound installation and we have replaced nozzles in the fountain to investigate how it affects traffic noise from Stenbocksgatan and take the sound environment theme one step further.