Assessing and reducing the port’s environmental impacts.
Seek innovative technological solutions in order to mitigate sound pollution
There are now a multitude of technological solutions available (insulation and other treatments of buildings, lights, port equipment, coverings, etc.) to reduce nuisances and allow contact between heavy port activities and urban activities. Research and innovation in this area will be intensified, to produce ever more effective solutions.
In November 2015, the Port of Amsterdam launched the HoorbaarMinder (« Hear the Difference ») project, to replace the reversing sounds made by trucks and other machines. The sound is very prominent at short distances, but can also be heard farther away, notably in the residential areas of Zaanstad and Westzaan. A total of 267 of these reversing signal systems have been replaced by new systems which emit a more discreet whistle, which a residents’ spokesman has described as resembling the sound made by a cricket. The eventual aim is to replace all of these systems in the port zone. This innovative solution received the Golden Decibel Award in 2016 from Dutch noise reduction foundation, Stichting Geluidshinder. In March 2018, Amsterdam’s Municipal Council gave the green light to the Westpoort Noise Dispersion Plan, on which the Port began working in 2017. An environmental zoning plan is already in place to determine maximum acceptable noise levels. Certain plots of land are still available in Westpoort. The new plan will allow any businesses considering moving there to calculate the maximum noise level permitted, and to determine whether their activities will be compatible with the regulations. The final version of the plan will be made available on a government website.