The efficiency of mathematical algorithms for urban noise evaluation

Abstract The soundscape of cities in general, whether medium or large size, may not be favorable to the comfort of the population and even to the health of people. Vehicle traffic is one of the main causes of this problem, further worsened by uncontrolled urban growth which eliminates front setbacks, squares and gardens that could enable a better dispersion of sound energy. Urban planning requires tools that allow it to estimate sound energy emission from traffic flow. There are softwares in the market that make this prediction, but they have a high cost. The other option is the use of mathematical algorithms available cost-free in the literature, but that have been developed for a reality different from the Brazilian. The objective of this work is to evaluate the accuracy of these algorithms to the Brazilian reality. Sound pressure level measures were made in a traffic lane. During the measurements, the number of vehicles was counted to feed the selected algorithm in order to compare the measured and the simulated values. The results indicated a good correlation between the values obtained, but the noise emitted by vehicles in circulation need to be better studied in order to obtain more accurate results.