With the densification of urban living spaces, noise is becoming increasingly problematic and leads to impairments of the environment, quality of life and health. The research and application project investigates the extent to which active participation and involvement in noise prevention can lead to more noise-conscious behaviour. The aim of the explorative research project is to explore and develop new ways to motivate people to behave more noise-consciously, with a special focus on the influence of the instrument of public participation. For this purpose, a theoretical and empirical examination of the issues of noise awareness and public participation with environmental noise as a relevant environmental factor is to be conducted, at the end of which noise awareness and its predictors are identified and quantified, and the connection between public participation and people’s noise awareness and behaviour is understood.

Based on these findings, a citizens’ dialogue will be conducted on a prototypical subject of discussion, which will provide the questions for a concluding expert workshop. The outcome of the workshop will be recommendations for well-founded strategies and concrete measures that are suitable for promoting noise-conscious behaviour in an attitude-based and sustainable manner, i.e. not only situationally and temporarily. In the course of the project, the following research questions will be addressed, among others, but not exclusively:

  • How can noise awareness be reliably surveyed as a psychological construct?
  • Which personal, cognitive, emotional, affective, social and situational (incl. acoustic stress) factors have an influence on noise awareness?
  • What is the relationship between public participation and noise awareness?
  • Welche Auswirkungen hat die aktive Teilnahme an Beteiligungsverfahren auf What effects does active participation in participation processes have on noise awareness and the willingness to change behaviour?
  • How can attitude-based, noise-conscious behaviour be motivated?

The following methods are used to answer these research questions: literature research, explorative preliminary investigation for the creation of the survey instruments, comprehensive compilation of methods, instruments and currently ongoing public participation on the topic of noise in Germany, quantitative and qualitative survey of participants in these public participations, survey of the acoustic exposure of the participants, on the one hand through the already available façade levels from the mapping within the framework of the EU Noise Directive, on the other hand through direct measurements in the home. Finally, the nexus Institute conducts a citizens’ dialogue with the participants, in which the potential of active participation for increasing noise awareness is examined. Based on the results of the study, recommendations for the promotion of noise-conscious behaviour are developed in a co-creative process. The nexus Institute is coordinating the overall study, which is being conducted in a research consortium together with the chairs of Psychoacoustics (Prof. André Fiebig) and Audio Communication (Prof. Stefan Weinzierl) at the TU Berlin and Human Factors Consult.

It compiles an overview of ongoing participation processes, recruits respondents for the survey, assists in conducting the interviews and organises the citizens’ dialogue and a concluding expert workshop.

Duration: 10/2022 – 10/2024
Client: Umweltbundesamt
Team: Prof. Dr. Christiane Dienel (Scientific management), Dr. Christine von Blanckenburg (Project management), Wiebke Blum
Project partners: TU Berlin, Human Factors Consult

Picture: Dall-E / nexus Institut