© Senate Department of Berlin/LK Argus GmbH.


Berlin, like many agglomerations in Europe, suffers from high levels of noise pollution, in particular from road traffic. During the first round of noise mapping in 2007, Berlin found that a high number of people were exposed to night-time noise levels considered harmful to health. As a result, and in line with the Environmental Noise Directive, noise action plans were implemented. Pilot projects were implemented on four main road sections used by approximately 20,000 motor vehicles per day.

Measures and outcomes

The city of Berlin, where more than 500,000 people are exposed to road noise levels of at least 50dB during the night-time period, implemented a programme focused on redesigning some of the streets in the city to reduce the available driving space for motorised vehicles. City streets with two lanes in each direction and with traffic reaching up to 20,000 vehicle passages a day, were narrowed to single-lane roads, releasing space for cycle lanes and pedestrian islands.

This measure reduced traffic levels and concentrated the remaining traffic in the centre of the roadway, shifting it away from residential buildings. As a result, the number of people exposed to high night-time noise levels, of 50dB or higher, was reduced by more than 50,000.



Berlin, Germany.


Road traffic.


Noise levels above 55dB(A) during the night occur on about three quarters of the main road network, where 300,000 people live. About 50,000 people benefited from the measure.

Type of measure

Narrowing to single-lane roads, releasing space for cycle lanes and pedestrian islands in parts of the street network.



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