Noise still belongs to the environmental pollutants causing a great deal of concern. This is an essential societal problem, and transportation is seen as its primary source. Accepting mobility as a basic human need and as an essential precondition for maintaining economic prosperity and wealth in an enlarging Europe, it is clear that the adverse effects of noise must be reduced while facing a continued increase in freight and passenger transport.
The European Commission has supported the creation of the project 'CALM II - Coordination of European Research for Advanced Transport Noise Mitigation' which is based on the activities and results of the completed thematic network 'CALM - Community Noise Research Strategy Plan'. CALM II aimed at enhanced and cross-sectoral coordination of the European transport noise research involving the most relevant stakeholders. It facilitated the networking of organisations, the coordination of activities and the exchange and dissemination of knowledge.
The objectives of CALM II were:
- Improved coordination and information exchange between different sectors and stakeholders leading to synergy effects for RTD, a cost effective and cross-sector use of existing noise abatement technologies and new cooperation structures;
- Identification of new technology requirements, remaining research needs and setting of targets
- Comparison of European with Third Country status;
- Support of the European Commission in setting up the agenda for future transport noise policy;
- Support of the Research Advisory Councils in creating a vision and Strategic Research Agenda for future transport research;
- Active involvement of promising young researchers;
- Dissemination of transport noise state-of-the-art to new member states;
- Maintenance and update of CALM homepage and CALM project database;
- Promotion/presentation of CALM at international events and via publications;
- Stimulation of network-dynamics beyond FP6 (to FP7) to optimise synergies and efficiency of joint RTD and promote further research activities.
By involving the most relevant stakeholders from European and national activities from road, rail, aeronautic and maritime transport as well as complementary research issues such as health and socio-economic aspects, the European Noise Working Groups and the respective European Research Advisory Councils, CALM II supported the European Commission in setting up the agenda for future transport noise research and development.
Within the project a website has been maintained (www.calm-network.com) for facilitation the work of partners and provision with the information all stakeholders. This website has been active till February 2011.
The whole work programme was split into five work packages (WP).
- WP1 (Networking of European transport noise research activities) - designed for the monitoring of European noise research activities and noise abatement technologies at EU and national level across all relevant research areas of transportation noise, including outdoor equipment and generic issues like noise exposure, health and socio-economic aspects, city planning and infrastructure.
- WP2 (Sectoral integration of different areas of transport noise research) – to improve the coordination and information exchange between different noise sectors and platforms with specific workshops together with the European technology platforms ACARE (aeronautics), ERRAC (rail), ERTRAC (road) and WATERBORNE (maritime).
- WP3 (Noise research strategies) - designed for identifying technology gaps and research needs which is done in close co-operation with the European Noise Working Groups.
- WP4 (Dissemination and exploitation of results) - focused on the information transfer and dissemination of results amongst all stakeholders, with a special focus on the new Member States and with specific workshops.
- WP5 (Network management, coordination and administration) - to ensure an effective execution of the project including all administrative services like the organisation of meetings, reporting, etc.
The work of CALM II resulted in the following main publishable outcomes.
- The interactive website (www.calm-network.com – not maintained yet) was taken over from CALM (I) and adapted to the CALM II requirements including now also a public calendar with dates of CALM activities and other events like international conferences and congresses.
- The project database of CALM (I), a freely accessible inventory of noise research projects on the website, was taken over and updated continuously.
- The 'Blue Book', a booklet with a CD-ROM, was an inventory of most relevant European noise research projects. The CD contained the electronic version of the Blue Book as well as the complete CALM project database (with status of 31 March 2006) for off-line use. The Blue Book was issued in May 2006 with 2000 prints and distributed on workshops and conferences. It was also provided electronically on the CALM website.
- The CALM Strategy Paper representing the Noise Research Strategy Plan was updated twice, based on the edition of Oct. 2004. The first update was an electronic version published on the website in February 2007 for public review and feedback. The second update was issued in September 2007 as printed paper with 3000 prints. The Strategy Paper of September 2007 was to be distributed on workshops and conferences,.
- The Strategy Paper of September 2007 titled 'Research for a Quieter Europe in 2020' is the most important result of CALM II (it is possible to be downloaded from "Documents" section). The paper describes the European strategy for future research in environmental noise covering the transport modes road, rail and air and the wide sector of outdoor equipment as the major sources of environmental noise. It includes the vision for less noise in 2020, the source-related research targets and technology road maps as well as the research requirements related to noise perception. In addition, the paper gives an overview of the environmental noise in Europe and the EU noise policy with its current legal framework.
- In October 2007, the final CALM Conference 'Research and Strategies for Less Noise in Europe' was held in Brussels in order to provide information on current noise research activities and the latest CALM noise research strategy presenting the new Strategy Paper of September 2007.
- Future significant reduction of environmental noise requires a well-balanced portf