The public health impact of road-traffic noise in a highly-populated city, Republic of Korea: Annoyance and sleep disturbance

Taeho Park, Minho Kim, Chaemi Jang, Taeryang Choung, Kyung A. Sim, Dongju Seo, Seo Il Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Sustainable transportation is an essential part of a sustainable city; however, modern transportation systems with internal-combustion engines emits unacceptably high level of air-pollutants and noise. It is recognized widely that road-traffic noise has negative health impacts (such as annoyance and sleep disturbance) on exposed population in highly-populated cities. These harmful effects should be removed or at least reduced to guarantee the sustainability of modern cities. The estimation of pollutant levels at a specific location and the extent of the damage is therefore important for policy makers. This study presents a procedure to determine the levels of road-traffic noise at both day and night, and an assessment of the adverse health effects across Gwangju Metropolitan City (GMC), Republic of Korea (ROK). Road-traffic noise maps in 2-D and 3-D were generated, in order to find spatial distribution of noise levels across the city and noise level at the façade of a building-floor, respectively. The adoption of existing assessment models for the highly-annoyed (%HA) and highly-sleep-disturbed (%HSD) leads to building-based estimation of the affected population and spatial distribution of the road networks of the city. Very high noise levels were found to exist along major roads in the day and at night, with little difference between them. As a result, approximately 10% and 5% of the total population (n = 1,471,944) were estimated to experience high-level annoyance and sleep disturbance, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2947
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number8
StatePublished - 20 Aug 2018


  • 3-D noise map
  • Annoyance
  • Negative health impacts
  • Road-traffic noise
  • Sleep disturbance


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