Management and planning of noisy outdoor recreational activities

A guide to help municipalities better manage noise from outdoor recreational activities

Friday, November 20, 2020
Gestion et planification des activités récréatives extérieures reconnues bruyantes

To help municipalities reduce the harmful effects of noise from outdoor recreational activities, either for the people participating in these activities or those living near the sites, a team of researchers from the École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) has developed, at the request of the Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS), the guide Gestion et planification des activités récréatives extérieures reconnues bruyantes (Management and planning of noisy outdoor recreational activities).    

According to the Institut national de santé publique du Québec, the societal cost related to environmental noise amounts to $680 million per year. Outdoor recreational activities, such as music and amplified sound, motor vehicle racetracks, fireworks and shooting ranges, are among the sources of environmental noise.

In this guide, the research team—composed of professors Thomas Dupont and Olivier Doutres, as well as Maxime Perna and Thomas Padois, respectively research assistant and research associate—emphasizes the effects of short- and long-term noise exposure on health and the risk of hearing loss during high noise exposure. 

Threshold limit values are suggested to protect the hearing of participants and threshold limit value ranges are proposed to protect the populations residing near outdoor recreational sites. 

The researchers also propose good practices in noise planning, management and reduction, as well as awareness and protection for exposed populations. Readers will find summary sheets and detailed recommendations for each activity. Information on noise, its prediction and measurement are also provided in the appendix for those not familiar with environmental noise.

“This guide is not intended to define fixed rules and threshold limit values, but rather to provide information and present guidelines that will enable municipalities to design or adapt their regulations to their own contexts,” says Professor Dupont.

This guide is funded by the Quebec government’s Politique gouvernementale de prévention en santé.   

To find out more:

Management and planning of noisy outdoor recreational activities (in French).  

Thomas Dupont and Olivier Doutres
Thomas Dupont and Olivier Doutres

About the two researchers 

Thomas Dupont is a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at ÉTS as well as a member of the Groupe de recherche en acoustique à Montréal (GRAM). His research focuses on materials and metamaterials related to acoustics as well as on the vibrations and vibratory behaviour of structures. 

Olivier Doutres is a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and director of the Groupe de recherche en acoustique à Montréal (GRAM). He teaches industrial acoustics. His research is mainly aimed at reducing occupational deafness and focuses on hearing protectors, augmented artificial heads, acoustic materials and metamaterials, aircraft structure-borne noise and the localization of noise sources.  

Chantal Crevier

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