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Data & Statistics

Noise Planning Advice Summary

The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) devotes considerable efforts to pre-empting noise problems that may arise from land use and public work planning activities. These efforts are useful in ensuring new noise-sensitive uses will not be exposed to excessive noise, new infrastructure will not cause insurmountable noise problems, and opportunities for noise improvement during urban redevelopment will be seized as they arise. Statistics for planning advice/cases over the years are shown in Figure 1. The majority of these are related to major planning studies (see Figure 2).

 
Figure 1 - Statistics on Noise Planning Advice/Cases



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Figure 2 - Breakdown of 1257 Noise Planning Advice/Cases in 2014



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Strategies to Reduce Traffic Noise

The Government takes road traffic noise problems very seriously. Strategic policies and plans have been developed over the years to address the problems. Through proactive actions taken via a 4-pronged approach: (a) prevention of traffic noise problems through planning and environmental impact assessment, (b) avoid importing noisy vehicles into Hong Kong through legislation, (c) abatement of noise at existing roads, and (d) getting the public and other stakeholders involved through education, engagement and partnership programme, many residents have benefited from the existing measures. It has all along been recognized that the prevention of traffic noise problems through conscientious planning is the most effective means in tackling the issue. In that respect, various measures as shown in Table 1 are under active planning and implementation in Hong Kong to reduce traffic noise. A number of strategic planning or transport studies, which are conducted by the other departments, most prominently the CTS-3 and the HK2030 studies, had recommended strategies and noise improvement measures that were closely in line with EPD's established plans and policies.

 
Table 1 - Various Strategic Measures under Active Planning or Implementation to Reduce Traffic Noise Pollution
   

Strategic Measures to Reduce Noise Pollution

Status

Environmental friendly Transport modes With the completion of five railway projects from 2002 to 2005, the railway network expanded over 200km. New projects such as the West Island Line, Shatin to Central Link, South Island Line and Hong Kong section of Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link are under active planning/construction.Possibility of introducing trolley bus/monorail among other environmentally friendly transport modes in new development areas such as the Kai Tak Development to be investigated.
More Depressed roads or putting new roads underground as far as practicable A number of new underpasses and tunnels are now operating.
Pedestrianisation Pedestrianisation schemes have been introduced in different districts such as Central, Wanchai, Causeway Bay, Stanley, Tsim Sha Tsui, Jordan, Mong Kok, Sham Shui Po, Shek Wu Hui and Yuen Long.
More stringent vehicle noise emission standards Requirements are on a par with that of the latest European Union and Japan's requirements.
More extensive use of low noise road surfacing Some 60 trial road sections had been laid with low noise surface materials as at end of 2014.
Retrofitting existing roads with barriers or enclosures Some 40 noisy road sections identified in the retrofitting programme have been included in the public works programme for implementation. Noise barriers have been erected along 17 road sections.  Follow-up action for noise barriers along other road sections are also in progress.
Improve Joints at flyovers Three trial joints have been included into the Development Bureau's List of Approved Suppliers of Materials and Specialist Contractors for Public Works, and could be adopted subject to design of the joint and bridge structure in projects.
Traffic management on noise ground Traffic management scheme at Texaco Road Flyover has been implemented.
 

Protecting New Dwellings from Excessive Noise

Two types of noise are of concern when planning new housing developments: traffic noise and industrial noise. The EPD has provided noise planning advice for large development and re-development projects, as well as for comparatively smaller residential proposals made to the Town Planning Board.

The relevant planning requirements are stipulated in Chapter 9 of the Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines. The goal is not so much to mitigate against noise, but to avoid incompatible land uses being put close to each other. However, in cases of urban re-development in particular, it is difficult to achieve full compliance with the road traffic noise standard. Screens or barriers can be erected, or the building design may have noise-sensitive windows facing away from the roads. But this may not be enough and good insulation windows often are required as a last resort to further minimise noise impacts
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Figure 3 - Noise Improvement through Planning Involvement in 2014


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User review date: 
Wednesday, 10 September, 2014