Selection of suitable alternatives to reduce the environmental impact of road traffic noise using a fuzzy multi-criteria decision model

Ruiz-Padillo, A, Ruiz, DP, Torija Martinez, AJ ORCID: and Ramos-Ridao, A 2016, 'Selection of suitable alternatives to reduce the environmental impact of road traffic noise using a fuzzy multi-criteria decision model' , Environmental Impact Assessment Review, 61 , pp. 8-18.

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Road traffic noise is one of the most significant environmental impacts generated by transport systems. To this regard, the recent implementation of the European Environmental Noise Directive by Public Administrations of the European Union member countries has led to various noise action plans (NAPs) for reducing the noise exposure of EU inhabitants. Every country or administration is responsible for applying criteria based on their own experience or expert knowledge, but there is no regulated process for the prioritization of technical measures within these plans. This paper proposes a multi-criteria decision methodology for the selection of suitable alternatives against traffic noise in each of the road stretches included in the NAPs. The methodology first defines the main criteria and alternatives to be considered. Secondly, it determines the relative weights for the criteria and sub-criteria using the fuzzy extended analytical hierarchy process as applied to the results from an expert panel, thereby allowing expert knowledge to be captured in an automated way. A final step comprises the use of discrete multi-criteria analysis methods such as weighted sum, ELECTRE and TOPSIS, to rank the alternatives by suitability. To illustrate an application of the proposed methodology, this paper describes its implementation in a complex real case study: the selection of optimal technical solutions against traffic noise in the top priority road stretch included in the revision of the NAP of the regional road network in the province of Almeria (Spain).

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This paper describes a methodology for selecting the most suitable road-traffic-noise reduction solutions, in a holistic way where economic, social, environmental and functional factors are also considered. This methodology provides objective and rigorous arguments about the best noise reduction solution to implement both for road decision-makers and affected population. The developed methodology lends objectivity and rigor in the elaboration of noise action plans, and also facilitates transparency in the distribution of economic resources. This paper has been widely disseminated in science news agencies (, and is under evaluation for its application in a real-life context by the Southwark Council (UK) Principal Environmental Health Officer. Well cited.
Schools: Schools > School of Computing, Science and Engineering
Journal or Publication Title: Environmental Impact Assessment Review
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0195-9255
Related URLs:
Funders: “Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad” of Spain, University of Malaga and the European Commission under the Agreement Grant no. 246550 of the seventh Framework Programme for R & D of the EU, granted within the People Programme, “Co-funding of Regional, National and International Programmes” (COFUND), “Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad” of Spain, “Dirección General de Infraestructuras de la Consejería de Fomento y Vivienda” of the “Junta de Andalucía” (Spain)
Depositing User: Dr Antonio J Torija Martinez
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2019 12:27
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 03:28

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