Coordinators of the Life Harmonica project: Bruitparif and Acoucité

Two French noise observatories - Bruitparif and Acoucité - decided to combine their expertise and develop new information and decision-making tools for environmental noise management, as part of the Life Harmonica project.

Bruitparif, Noise Observatory for the Ile-de-France region

Bruitparif is an association, as defined by the French law of 1901, founded in 2004 on the initiative of the Ile-de-France region upon demand from environmental protection associations to have an independent and reliable tool for the characterisation of noise nuisances and decision making.
This collegial association brings together around 100 players involved in fighting noise pollution at regional level: representatives of state departments, the regional and local authorities, organisations managing infrastructures, transport and industrial operators, acoustics professionals, environmental and consumer defence associations, etc.
The team works every day to achieve its three main missions:
  • To measure and evaluate environmental noise in Ile-de-France: Operation of a vast, fixed network of noise measurement devices, carrying out noise measurement campaigns, studies and surveys, by coordinating regional noise mapping, developing new methods and indicators, and taking part in multidisciplinary research, etc.
  • To support local authorities in the implementation of noise prevention policies and the fight against noise pollution: Coordination of the "Forum des Acteurs Franciliens" (Forum for better environmental noise management in the Ile-de-France region), help implementing directive 2002/EC/49 (strategic noise maps and environmental noise action plans), promotion of innovative actions in terms of fighting noise pollution, etc.
  • Informing and raising awareness among the general public of the importance of preserving the noise environment and the health risks related to exposure to noise.

Its area of authority is the Ile-de-France region, also known as the Paris region as it is home to the city of Paris, the capital of France. This region covers 12,000 km². It is a densely populated region, which is home to 18.8 % of the population of mainland France, making it the most highly populated region (nearly 12 million inhabitants) as well as the most densely populated region (987 inhabitants/km²) in France. It is highly centralised around the Paris metropolitan area, which covers 23.7 % of the region but is home to 88.7 % of its population.

The majority of exposure to noise is caused by transport infrastructures, which are very highly developed and dense: over 40,000 km of roads and 1,800 km of railways, two international airports, (Paris-Orly and Paris-Charles de Gaulle) and 25 other airfields (civil, military or private), including the commercial airport of Le Bourget and the heliport of Paris-Issy-les-Moulineaux.

Bruitparif manages and coordinates the Life Harmonica project. The association was particularly closely involved in the scientific testing and design of the Harmonica index, in producing information sheets promoting noise abatement initiatives, and in producing on-line information tools (the platform for the operational calculation of the Harmonica index, management of measurement databases and initiative sheets, development of calculation algorithms, and the design, development and management of www.noiseineu.eu). Bruitparif also managed all the administrative tasks and support functions necessary for the project to run smoothly, including coordination and communication.

Acoucité, Observatory of Environmental Noise for the Greater Lyons Urban Area

Acoucité was founded in 1996 on the initiative of the Greater Lyons urban community and its founding members (INRETS, ENTPE, CERTU, and CSTB, among others), in order to work on developing knowledge and professional know-how pertaining to environmental noise in urban areas. It is a centre of expertise whose purpose is to promote communication between research centres and the towns operational teams, in particular in terms of managing urban noise from land transport. The team works every day to develop an observatory, a series of scientific studies (measurements and analyses) and sociological studies (surveys), whose purpose is to be a decision-making tool for elected officials and local experts.

As part of an agreement with "Mission Ecologie du Grand Lyon", Acoucité is developing a fixed noise measurement and monitoring network for the Lyons metropolitan area. Acoucité is also involved in urban development projects, with a view to managing noise levels and improving the noise environment.

Its main area of intervention is the Greater Lyons urban area, which covers 516 km² and is home to 1.3 million people.

Acoucité is also a partner of four urban areas in the south-east of France  (the agglomeration communities of Grenoble-Alpes Métropole, Pays d'Aix, Saint-Etienne Métropole, and Nice Côte d'Azur), to help them set up their own noise observatories.

As part of the Life Harmonica project, Acoucité was involved in developing the Harmonica index and information sheets promoting noise abatement initiatives. It also provided its expertise in social and human sciences for developing protocols, conducting surveys, and analysing the results, in order to establish the public's expectations and evaluate the relevance of new tools developed for the Harmonica project.