The development of highway nuisance perception: Experiences of residents along the Southern Ring Road in Groningen, The Netherlands

Marije Hamersma*, Eva Heinen, Taede Tillema, Jos Arts

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

9 Citaten (Scopus)
31 Downloads (Pure)


The perception of highway nuisance i.e. noises, air pollution and barrier-effects, is associated with negative effects on health and quality of life. This study aims to gain a deeper understanding of the development of highway nuisance perception among residents. Interviews were conducted with residents in 32 households living along the Southern Ring Road, a highway which crosses various neighbourhoods in the city of Groningen, the Netherlands.

Various themes emerged from the interviews which were important in the development of residents’ perceptions of highway nuisance. For example, our interviews showed that residents who had not explicitly chosen to live next to a highway were more acutely affected by the negative externalities of that highway later. Perceived environmental changes, often due to governmental actions such as new/extended noise barriers, removal of trees and newly constructed buildings causing noise reflection, also played a role in the interviewees’ development of nuisance perception. In addition, the interviewees indicated that expectations about future highway developments influenced their current perception of highway nuisance, which could be described as anticipation effects. Interviewees also indicated that recent information about the potentially harmful effects of air pollution increased their concerns about living near the highway. A final theme discussed were differences in the extent to which residents were able to develop coping strategies to reduce the amount of highway nuisance perception.

The participants’ experiences indicate the importance of further integration between the planning of highway infrastructure and the broader environment in order to reduce nuisance perceptions and improve residential quality near highways.
Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)553-563
Aantal pagina's11
TijdschriftLand Use Policy
StatusPublished - feb.-2017

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