Acoustic Planning of Australian Inner City Areas: An Innovative Approach

Frank Butera , Noel Morris

New Zealand Acoustics, 17(1), pp.25- 32 . (2004).

Australian CBDs are undergoing massive reAdevelopment. In particularly more and more people are choosing to live in or near the CBD, usually in high density or high rise developments. With this shift in the demographic comes the potential for conflict between lifestyle and the intrusion of existing or future noise sources in the community. In this paper, an integrated approach to noise control in Australian cities is discussed. This approach includes producing 3AD acoustical models of Australian cities, with Melbourne presented here as an example. Detailed computer modelling can be used to identify potential areas of high noise as well as existing areas of tranquillity. A computer model is particularly useful in the case of new development, because educated planning decisions concerning noise can be made at the same time as developmental decisions. This approach contrasts markedly with cities that have been built “organically” with no prior overall noise plan. The cost effectiveness of planning decisions made with prior knowledge of the noise environment is qualitatively addressed. The overall aim of this presentation is to suggest an appropriate methodology for modelling the changes now taking place in Australian CBDs using proven technology. By selecting appropriate standards from Europe, noise limits from around Australia, and stateAofAtheAart software, an integrated approach to noise control for cities is suggested.