The most important source of excessive noise affecting the largest portion of the City population is automotive traffic. The number of automobiles and transported volumes have been ever increasing. Although the construction of outer ring road has been ongoing roads in the densely populated built-up areas in the City downtown remain in the state of traffic saturation, that is jammed, for all day. Road pavement condition in many cases contributes to the noise level increase, noise prevention barriers have been implemented along a small portion of the road network only. In the most roads of Prague with intensive traffic the equivalent levels of acoustic pressure reach up to 80 dB in daytime, as in Veletržní, Legerova, and Sokolská Streets, and so on.

B5.2.1 Noise measurements

Regular noise measurements at selected localities of Prague were carried out either within the system of the IOŽIP from 1984 to 2000 at eight localities (see the Yearbook 2001). Repeated measurements of noise has been carried out on a long-term basis by the Public Health Authorities namely within the framework of the National Programme of the National Institute for Public Health called “Monitoring of the Environment Aspects Related to Public Health”. Results of all-day measurements confirmed that at localities of stable traffic solution and more or less used traffic capacity noise conditions do not change much either. Due to all–day traffic load the effects of rush hours are minimised. At noisier localities the acceptable values of LAeq are permanently exceeded all day and night.

Occasional noise measurements, timely limited measurements of noise are carried out mostly as a part of environmental studies of larger investment projects. Studies performed also usually include design of noise prevention barriers and implementation follow-up check of their performance. Further one-time measurements are performed as checks in the course of investigation of complaints or in order to verify results of model calculations.

B5.2.2 Noise maps

Noise maps have become a frequently used tool to describe urban noise nuisance in the world as well as in the Czech Republic. The impulse for essential increase of their importance is undoubtedly the recently adopted directive of the European Parliament and European Council on noise evaluation and control in the environment (Directive 2002/49/EC).

The Directive is based on three main principles: harmonisation (noise indicators, noise evaluation, calculation methods, measurement methods, monitoring, strategy, and legislation), collecting of information on noise in the form of noise maps, and informing the public on the current noise situation and on strategy and financing of noise reduction. Noise maps represent noise levels (values of indicators and their comparison to limit values), then they express population noise nuisance (number of persons or housings in a certain area affected by a certain noise). They are oriented on the application mostly in the land-use planning and urban planning and in strategy development. They will be required for large agglomerations, main road and railway routes, and important airports. They shall be developed by the end of 2007 at the latest; their update is assumed to be done in 5 years since they have been developed. The strategic noise maps shall be followed up by action plans, which shall be developed by 18 July 2008.

The City of Prague has long-term experience in the field of the noise map development. Concerning time and methodology the noise map development in Prague can be characterised by three development stages as follows:

1. Development of measurement-based noise maps. This period covers the period 1976 to 1996 when 5 automotive traffic noise maps for daytime were completed in the 5-year interval. The maps demonstrate noise levels on selected major roads on the City territory. They were developed using the results from a great number of short-term measurements (300–500).

2. The noise map development based on the combination of long-term and short-term measurements (probes) and follow-up calculations. This phase has the “transitional” character (both measurements and calculations were applied) and covers period of years 1993 to 1997 when 6 noise nuisance distribution maps (MRHZ) for daytime were successively developed for selected parts of the City territory. This phase was followed by a pilot project of areal calculated automotive traffic noise map for daytime for the City District of Prague 2, which was implemented in 1998.

3. The development of calculated noise maps. Between 1998 and 2005, 5 calculated noise maps for the whole City of Prague were developed, identifying noise-levels on Prague’s territory, or more precisely in the areas surrounding a selected communication network, for which there are input data on traffic intensity available. These maps include: automotive traffic noise maps for daytime and night-time, tramway traffic noise maps for daytime, aggregated calculated map of automotive and tramway traffic for daytime and night-time. A calculated noise map of automotive traffic for day-time mapping north-western part of Prague in 2000, which was developed using alternative calculation methods, also belongs to this category.

Tab. B5.2 Overview of noise mapping projects in Prague

Název projektu
Project name

Časové období
Time period

Použité postupy
Procedures applied

Hlukové mapy automobilové dopravy (HMAD)
Noise maps of automotive traffic (HMAD)


měření (krátkodobá)
measurements (short-term)

Mapy rozložení hlukové zátěže (MRHZ)
Noise nuisance distribution maps (MRHZ)


měření (krátkodobá, dlouhodobá), výpočty
measurements (short-term, long-term),

Plošná hluková mapa automobilové dopravy v Praze 2
Area noise map of automotive traffic in Prague 2


výpočty (ověřovací studie)
calculation (verification study)

Výpočtová hluková mapa automobilové dopravy (VHMAD)
Calculated noise map of automotive traffic (VHMAD)



Výpočtová hluková mapa automobilové dopravy,
Praha - severozápad
Calculated noise map of automotive traffic, Prague - Northwest


výpočet (alternativní metodika)
calculation (alternative methodology)

Analýza zátěže obyvatelstva nadměrným hlukem dle VHMAD
Analysis of population load with excessive noise according
to the VHMAD


výpočet (analýza GIS)
calculation (GIS analysis)

Výpočtová mapa tramvajového provozu v denní době
Calculated noise map of tramway traffic in daytime



Výpočtová hluková mapa automobilové dopravy v noční době
Calculated noise map of automotive traffic in night-time



Součtová výpočtová hluková mapa automobilové a tramvajové
dopravy v denní a noční době
Summary calculated noise map of automotive and tramway
traffic in daytime and night-time


výpočet (shrnutí)
calculation (summary)

Note: The calculated maps developed after the year 2000 were compiled using the same input data on automotive traffic intensity in 2000.

Basic information concerning the results of regular noise measurements in Prague as well as outputs of noise maps development have been published on regular basis in the Prague Environment Yearbooks since 1989. Since 1997, following the digitalisation and the transformation of noise maps into GIS, noise maps have been included in the Atlas of the Prague’s Environment on the Internet at www.premis.cz/atlaszp. These essential outputs of the Prague Environmental Information System (IOŽIP) have been published to serve the needs of the City’s management, professionals, and, first of all, the public. They are available in an electronic format (both the Czech and English versions) on the City’s website at www.praha-mesto.cz and on the CD-ROM. The summary presentation of noise maps in Prague is available on the CD-ROM Prague – The Environment 6.

On the basis of the calculated noise maps, that had been developed, and the Pilot study of a proposal for the removal of „old noise nuisance“ from the Prague territory, developed for the TSK in 2003 – see the Yearbook 2005, the competent City authority (Public Health Authority) granted its consent to the schedule for the reduction of old noise nuisance (“black spots“) resulting from automotive traffic in the City of Prague. The noise maps have been namely used by public administration (Public Health Authority of the Capital City of Prague and those of the City Districts), then also by authors of the EIA documentation and assessments, as well as by the public. They represent ready background documents, which can be employed for the future development of strategic noise maps and follow-up action plans complying with requirements of the Directive 2002/49/EC.

The updating of the procedure for the old noise nuisance from automotive transport elimination on the Prague territory was set for 2007.

The following tables and figures give examples of pieces of information from the summary calculated noise maps of automotive and tramway traffic. Relative frequency values given in tables are based on values for 195 thousand calculation points on facades of buildings adjacent to the selected network of communications.

Tab. B5.3 Frequency distribution of LAeq values at the step of 5 dB in daytime

hodnoty LAeq v dB
Zones of
Aeq values in dB

Relativní četnost
pro automobilovou dopravu
Relative frequency,
automotive traffic

Relativní četnost
pro tramvajový provoz
Relative frequency,
tramway traffic

Relativní četnost pro automobilovou
dopravu a tramvajový provoz
Relative frequency, automotive
and tramway traffic

LAeq Ł 40

2,12 %

21,86 %

1,41 %

40 < LAeq Ł 45

3,70 %

9,67 %

3,42 %

45 < LAeq Ł 50

8,80 %

11,03 %

8,48 %

50 < LAeq Ł 55

14,04 %

12,42 %

13,65 %

55 < LAeq Ł 60

17,33 %

13,98 %

16,83 %

60 < LAeq Ł 65

20,53 %

15,75 %

20,14 %

65 < LAeq Ł 70

20,67 %

13,24 %

20,57 %

70 < LAeq Ł 75

11,35 %

2,03 %

13,68 %

75 < LAeq

1,46 %

0,02 %

1,82 %

Součet / Sum

100,00 %

100,00 %

100,00 %

Tab. B5.4 Frequency distribution of sum immission values of LAeq for automotive and tramway traffic zoned pursuant to the Order of the Government of the Czech Republic No. 88/2004 Code.

Pásmové hodnoty LAeq v dB
Zones of LAeq values in dB

Relativní četnost v denní době
Relative frequency in daytime

Relativní četnost v noční době
Relative frequency in night-time

LAeq Ł 55

26,97 %

40,60 %

55 < LAeq Ł 60

16,83 %

26,82 %

60 < LAeq Ł 72

47,92 %

32,46 %

72 < LAeq

8,28 %

0,11 %

Součet / Sum

100,00 %

100,00 %

Fig. B5.1 Immission zone values of LAeq tramway and automotive traffic exceeding

Figure B5.1 Immission zone values of LAeq tramway and automotive traffic exceeding

Source: MHMP, ENVICONSULT, Hydrosoft Veleslavín

Fig. B5.2 Immission values of LAeq tramway and automotive traffic exceeding 72 dB – detail, City downtown

Figure B5.2 Immission values of LAeq tramway and automotive traffic exceeding 72 dB – detail, City downtown

Source: MHMP, ENVICONSULT, Hydrosoft Veleslavín