Technical Tools to Support Land Use Compatibility Planning

Focus Area



Community & Cultural Concerns, Environmental Process






1-2 years

Research Idea Scope

Problem Statement – Land adjacent to airports, highways, and rail transit lines needs to be developed so that noise sensitive uses are prohibited and community development is planned, designed, and constructed in such a way that transportation noise impacts are minimized. In the United States, the process used to support decision making regarding noise-sensitive land uses is referred to as land use compatibility planning. However, state and local governments often lack the technical capabilities necessary to successfully conduct noise compatible land use planning. Research is needed to develop capabilities that can be effectively applied to manage local growth and development with respect to transportation noise exposure. These tools should include educational materials, regulatory program guidelines, and the necessary technical and analytical capabilities required to properly conduct land use planning. Proposed Research – The objective of this research would be to develop technical tools and educational materials that could be used by state and local officials and environmental planners in performing noise compatible land use planning. Examples of information to be incorporated as part of the envisioned toolkit would include references to appropriate noise policies and American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards regarding allowable noise exposures for various land uses and presentation of current “best practices” used by communities around the country. Examples of analytical capabilities to be incorporated into the toolkit include adequate noise-propagation models and Geographic Information System graphical representations of population distributions and existing land uses. This proposed project would result in a prototype land use compatibility planning toolkit ready for an initial test case involving land use planning in several representative communities and for various categories of transportation noise sources.

Suggested By

SCOE Highway Traffic Noise Group