Port of Amsterdam’s approach to noise pollution is unique and has been rewarded

Press release

The beeps emitted by reversing vehicles of the businesses in the port area are safe but annoying. This detracted from the quality of life for the inhabitants of Zaanstad and Westzaan. Port of Amsterdam devised a solution, which has now won the Golden Decibel Award.

The Golden Decibel Award is initiated by the 'Stichting Geluidshinder' (Dutch Noise Abatement Foundation).

Port of Amsterdam launched the project HoorbaarMinder ('Hear the Difference') in November 2015. Its goal is to replace the beeping noises generated by vehicle alarm systems (including noises activated while a vehicle is reversing) in the Amsterdam port area, such as lorries, shovels, cranes and fork-lift trucks, with a hissing sound. This sound can be easily detected at short distances from reversing vehicles, but fades into the background at greater distances.

A total of 267 such alarm systems have now been replaced at 24 businesses. The objective is to replace all these vehicle alarm systems in the Amsterdam port area.

Tackling noise pollution

The HoorbaarMinder project has now won the Golden Decibel Award. This award is an initiative of Innonoise Foundation and the Dutch Noise Abatement Foundation. By presenting a range of various awards, the initiators aim to increase awareness of the problem of noise pollution and the need to find solutions for it. The project was lauded for its systematic and methodical approach.

Only port worldwide

Port of Amsterdam is the first European port and possibly the first port worldwide to make this innovative solution widely available to all businesses in the port area, and is also rolling it out to the ports in the North Sea Canal Area.

‘Raspy-voiced cricket’

Hans Lalk, Assendelft resident and board member of several interest groups: ‘We are satisfied with the new alarm systems. The tonal alarms in all reversing vehicles have been replaced with a more discreet hissing sound – not unlike that produced by a raspy-voiced cricket.’ Perhaps this project can also contribute to reducing noise pollution in the city .

Watch the video on HoorbaarMinder