Now showing 1 - 10 of 41
  • Publication
    Transportation noise and public health outcomes: biological markers and pathologies
    (Institute of Noise Control Engineering - USA, 2018-08-29) ;
    In 2009 the World Health Organisation recommend that for the prevention of sub-clinical adverse health impacts related to night-time noise, the general population should not be exposed to noise levels greater than 40dB(A). Contemporary scientific studies exploring the relationship between transport noise and health-related outcomes have served to reinforce the veracity of this recommendation. Indeed, a number of recent studies suggest that adverse impacts begin to occur at even lower levels - somewhere in the 30-39 dB(A) range. Within the foregoing context, this paper systematically reviews the contemporary academic literature in an attempt to delineate specific biological markers and pathologies associated with noise-health outcomes as a result of transportation noise exposure. In doing so, we highlight and categorise these markers specifically for a range of emerging health impacts. By highlighting such relationships, the goal is to allows other researchers to easily identify key health-related variables in national and international data sets. By utilising this data in conjunction with noise mapping data it may be possible to determine dose-effect and burden of disease relationships more accurately for a wider range of health issues in specific cities across Europe.
  • Publication
    An analysis of the role of bicycle-sharing in a European city : the case of Dublin
    (IRTN, 2011-09) ;
    In recent years, problems associated with automobile use have led to a marked shift in the orientation of transportation policy towards the promotion of more sustainable modes of transport. Central to this policy has been a heightened interest in bicycle-sharing schemes in major cities in the developed world. These initiatives seek to increase the modal share of cycling, improve the mobility of the general public and reduce the environmental impacts of private automobile transport. Existing research investigating the role and impact of bicycle-sharing schemes in European cities is sparse. Within this context, this paper investigates the role and impact of the recently implemented bicycle-sharing scheme in Dublin. Using evidence from 360 questionnaire surveys, the research focuses on the use of the bicycle-sharing scheme as an integrative mode for the rest of the city’s transport system, and particularly for the public transport system. The research also examines the scheme’s dichotomy in terms of its functionality during the peak and off-peak periods as well as investigating the socio-economic profile of its users.
  • Publication
    Environmental Noise Mapping with Smartphone Applications: A Participatory Noise Map of West Hartford, CT
    This paper reports on the second phase of an on-going study concerning the use of smartphone applications to measure environmental noise at the University of Hartford. This phase involved the development of two strategic noise maps of West Hartford town center: i) a standard noise map developed using traditional mapping techniques and ii) a participatory noise map utilizing smartphone-based measurement data (a citizen-science approach to noise mapping). The objective of the study was to assess the feasibility of developing a noise map using a citizen science based approach. Results suggest that smartphone applications can be used to collect environmental noise data and these data may be used in the development of a participatory noise map.
  • Publication
    Mapping for sustainability: environmental noise and the city
    In the last decade or so, the term sustainability has become fashionable not only among scientists but also among the general public. While this undoubtedly demonstrates that public awareness of environmental issues is increasing, it is also the case that the meaning of the concept can be elusive for many. As has been highlighted earlier in this volume, the notion of sustainability is something of a contested term quite aside from the idea of environmental sustainability, which is a more specific component of the broader concept
  • Publication
    (Cork University Press, 2011-11) ;
    Communications are an outstanding feature of Ireland's rural landscape. Some roads date from early times, but a network of roads and lanes, much denser than in most of Europe, developed strongly in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to link the diffuse pattern of small single farms, provide access to peat bogs and hill grazing, and serve a population substantially larger than the present. The expansion of roads had profound consequences in pre-industrial Ireland, ending isolation, altering rural settlement patterns and facilitating the erosion of native culture and the process of emigration. During the same period, and encouraged by central Ireland's low relief, canals were constructed, running in a predominantly east-west direction and serving the ports on the eastern seaboard with produce from an expanding rural hinterland. Unable to compete with the later railways, the canals fell into disuse in the early twentieth century, but have experienced a revival in recent years with the development of waterways for leisure pursuits. Although relatively underdeveloped, Ireland generated an impressive rail network in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Like the canals, railways were optimistically perceived as instruments of economic development and were extended into remote rural areas to encourage commercial farm production, trade and tourism; in reality, railways facilitated the importation of foreign goods and emigration. With the arrival of motorised road transport after World War II and upgrading of the roads, the railways appeared uncompetitive and a strategy of closure was implemented. Much reduced, the railway system has left a considerable legacy in the Irish rural landscape, including abandoned stations, bridges and embankments. Thinning of the communications network in the twentieth century, in particular railways and rural roads, was paralleled by the development of air travel and telecommunications and increasing investment in major roadways and by-passes. In the early years of the twenty-first century, rapid economic growth has meant that the development of major roadways and by-passes has assumed even greater importance. The role of the railway as a passenger oriented service has increased also. New technologies associated with mobile telecommunications and new forms of energy generation have become conspicuous in the rural landscape. While these latter impacts are likely to increase in future years, the full extent of the impact of the technological revolution on the rural landscape remains to be seen.
  • Publication
    Environmental noise prediction, noise mapping and GIS integration : the case of inner Dublin, Ireland
    (East-European Acoustical Association, 2006-06) ; ;
    The recent Environmental Noise Directive (END) of the European Union (EU) requires that noise maps and action plans are compiled for agglomerations with a population greater than 250,000 individuals. This paper reports on research conducted to predict and map road transport noise for a study area in central Dublin. Noise emission levels were calculated for Lden and Lnight using the Harmonoise prediction method as recommended by the European Union. Emphasis was placed on integrating noise data with a Geographic Information System (GIS). The results demonstrate that using a GIS to integrate noise data with other available spatial data can enhance the accuracy and visualisation of noise maps. In this regard, 3D noise animation was undertaken with a view to increasing public awareness in relation to environmental road transport noise. The results suggest that GIS based noise mapping has the potential to be more effective at informing environmental policy decision-making, particularly in terms of the actions to be taken as a result of excessively high environmental noise levels. The research also demonstrates that noise maps are visually sensitive to different methods of data interpolation. This is something which has not been explored to any great extent in previous noise mapping studies.
  • Publication
    Informal strategies of power in the local planning system
    (Sage, 2013-06-25) ;
    Existing studies that question the role of planning as a state institution, whose interests it serves together with those disputing the merits of collaborative planning are all essentially concerned with the broader issue of power in society. Although there have been various attempts to highlight the distorting effects of power, the research emphasis to date has been focused on the operation of power within the formal structures that constitute the planning system. As a result, relatively little attention has been attributed to the informal strategies or tactics that can be utilised by powerful actors to further their own interests. This article seeks to address this gap by identifying the informal strategies used by the holders of power to bypass the formal structures of the planning system and highlight how these procedures are to a large extent systematic and (almost) institutionalised in a shadow planning system. The methodology consists of a series of semi-structured qualitative interviews with 20 urban planners working across four planning authorities within the Greater Dublin Area, Ireland. Empirical findings are offered that highlight the importance of economic power in the emergence of what essentially constitutes a shadow planning system. More broadly, the findings suggest that much more cognisance of the structural relations that govern how power is distributed in society is required and that ‘light touch’ approaches that focus exclusively on participation and deliberation need to be replaced with more radical solutions that look towards the redistribution of economic power between stakeholders.
      1209Scopus© Citations 52
  • Publication
    Commuting economy : an alternative approach for assessing regional commuting efficiency
    This paper revisits the notion of random commuting within the excess commuting framework. In doing so, it argues that the average random commute, is a more appropriate basis for measuring the efficiency of urban commuting patterns. Using this as a base, the paper introduces two new measures of commuting efficiency based on measuring the collective commuting economy of individuals for the journey to work: commuting economy and normalised commuting economy. It is argued that because the average random commute has an intrinsically behavioural interpretation, the measures introduced yield more explicit explanations of the overall nature of travel behaviour within the constraints set by land use geography and the spatial distribution of the transport network. The framework is applied for two different years, 1991 and 2001, and for different modes of transport. The results show that the average actual commute has moved further away from the average random commute, implying that greater intermixing of residential and employment functions has led to more efficient commuting behaviour.
      435Scopus© Citations 61
  • Publication
    Legislative change in Ireland : a marxist political economy critique of planning law
    (Liverpool University Press, 2011-11-09) ; ;
    In the planning literature relatively little attention has been given to investigating the nature of legislative change in the planning domain. Utilising a political economy approach, this paper analyses recent planning legislative change in the Republic of Ireland. The paper argues that changes in planning legislation can be interpreted within a broader agenda of entrepreneurial planning within the Irish State. In critiquing recent change, the paper highlights three key issues: (1) the state, through legislation, facilities development capital over the interests of the general population; (2) entrepreneurial planning approaches can be traced to formal legislative change; (3) recent legislative change has been designed specifically to reduce democracy in the planning process. The findings support the assertion that planning legislation facilities predominantly the elite interest groups in society over those of the 'common good'.
      1299Scopus© Citations 30
  • Publication
    An assessment of residential exposure to environmental noise at a shipping port
    (Elsevier, 2014-02) ;
    The World Health Organisation has recently acknowledged that contrary to the trend for other environmental stressors, noise exposure is increasing in Europe. However, little research has been conducted on environmental noise exposure to handling activity at shipping ports. This paper reports on research examining the extent of noise exposure for residents within the vicinity of Dublin Port, Ireland using the nation's largest port terminal as a proxy for port noise. In order to assess the level of exposure in the area, long-term measurements were undertaken at the most exposed residential façade for a period of 45 days to determine the extent of night-time exposure that was above levels recommended by the World Health Organisation. The indicators L90, Leq and LMax were used to determine exposure levels. The results show that exposure is above night-time guideline limits set down by the WHO, above Irish levels for the assessment of noise mitigation and highlight the extent to which port noise can be a significant environmental stressor. The research also investigated the extent of low-frequency noise (which is associated with greater health issues) from night-time port handling activity and found a significant low-frequency component indicating the negative health issues that might arise from port noise exposure more generally. We also undertook semi-structured interviews with residents to qualitatively assess the self-reported impact of prolonged night-time noise exposure for local residents.
      799Scopus© Citations 58