New measures for reducing noise pollution

The coming months will see the implementation of a series of initiatives for helping to reduce noise levels in the city, such as a new tool for marking out night-time noise-stressed areas. Noise is the second most important environmental factor having an impact on the health of the population, just behind air pollution. Continual exposure to traffic noise is responsible for more than 210,000 people suffering from serious emotional, psychological or social problems and more than 60,000 having serious sleep disorders.

05/05/2022 17:40 h

Ajuntament de Barcelona

The aim behind creating night-time noise-stressed areas is to put a tool at the disposal of the city’s districts for devising noise-pollution reduction plans adapted to their specific cases.

If the approval is given to this new tool at the Full City Council Meeting this May, based on the information available from districts and local residents, the first areas that will be studied are as follows:

  • Carrer d’Enric Granados
  • Plaça de George Orwell
  • Carrer de Joaquín Costa
  • Carrer de l’Almirall Churruca
  • Rambla del Poblenou
  • Carrer de Rogent
  • Carrer de l’Allada-Vermell
  • Carrer Nou de la Rambla
  • Plaça d’Osca
  • Triangle Lúdic
  • Several squares in Vila de Gràcia

If these noise levels in these areas exceed their permitted limits by 3 decibels, noise-pollution reduction measures can be implemented, adapted to each case, and local residents will be able to access financial aid for renovating their homes, a measure already being applied in special-regulation noise zones (ZARE).

On the other hand, other measures will also apply in three areas: prevention, mitigation and protection. They are all included in the Plan for Measures against Noise Pollution for 2022-2030, which will be launched over the coming years to reduce the impact of noise pollution.


Preventive measures

  • Implementation of the Urban Mobility Plan (PMU) 2024, whose goal is for 81.5% of journeys in the city to be made on foot, in public transport or by bicycle.
  • Street-traffic calming: continuing with the implementation of the “City 30” measure, which reduces vehicle velocities from 50 km/hr to 30 km/hr.
  • Implementation of the Barcelona superblock and green hubs programme, which prioritise pedestrians and sustainable mobility.
  • Noise-impact awareness-raising campaigns, above all for motorbikes and mopeds.
  • Reducing noise levels of loading and unloading actions.
  • Implementation of a pilot noise-radar system in the summer for detecting vehicles that exceed permitted noise levels.
  • Incorporation of noise criteria into urban services and of noise limiters in street concerts to ensure a maximum sound level.
  • Monitoring and assessment of special-regulation noise zones (ZARE), zones where noise levels are high especially during the night.
  • Awareness-raising campaigns for making leisure activities compatible with peace and quiet for local residents.
  • More control and reduction of the noise impact of public works for monitoring their noise levels and limiting timetables for noisy activities.
  • Making afternoon and weekend sports and extracurricular activities compatible with local residents’ peace and quiet.

Mitigation mesures

  • Construction of walls, screens and tunnels in urban projects, in points where measures may prove less effective.
  • Surfacing with noise-reducing asphalt.
  • Noise-quality special protection zones, for example, part of Montjuïc mountain and Can Caralleu.
  • Preserving quiet urban zones.

Protective measures

  • “We’re protecting schools” programme, for traffic-calming areas surrounding schools, reducing speeds and keeping traffic away from outside-path access points and places.
  • Grants for increasing noise-insulation in residential buildings.
  • Noise-insulation measures for obtaining a first housing-occupancy certificate.
  • Incorporation of noise criteria into urban-development plans.
  • New tools for raising awareness of noise in the city for keeping citizens informed on noise levels and getting them to take part in monitoring them.
  • “De nit, respect”
  • A year on and the positive community life campaign is being re-launched to ensure local residents’ peace and quiet. The “De nit, respect” communication campaign will be back from 3 June to 25 September, during which a total of 48 information officers will be deployed throughout the city’s districts to raise awareness of the need for reducing noise in the city’s areas with high concentrations of activities and people, such as Rambla del Raval, Carrer d’Enric Granados, Plaça d’Osca and squares in Gràcia.

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