Noise: Information for specialists

Types of noise

The most important source of noise by far is road traffic. It is followed by rail transport and air traffic. Other sources of noise are shooting ranges, industrial and commercial facilities, construction sites, machinery, sports facilities and restaurants.

Noise pollution

In Switzerland, one in seven people are affected by harmful or annoying traffic noise at their place of residence during the day and one in eight at night. Traffic noise is primarily an environmental problem in cities and urban centres. Over 90 % of people affected live in and around larger centres.

Determination & evaluation

Noise levels are measured or evaluated in a standardised manner in order to enable subsequent comparison of the measured data with the legal requirements. This page contains an overview of the relevant documents on the determination of noise levels.


Noise impairs people's quality of life. It is annoying, it affects the body and mind. But it also reduces the attractiveness of entire areas. Noise can make people ill, with long-term health consequences. People are particularly sensitive to noise at night.


Noise should primarily be reduced at source. Spatial planning measures or suitable transport planning should help to secure areas that are currently noise-free. The FOEN promotes the development of low-noise technologies for vehicles and road surfaces and incentivises noise reduction.

Spatial planning measures

Good spatial planning reduces noise, good noise abatement at source leads to more room for manoeuvre in spatial planning. This mutually positive interaction should be utilised consistently.

Last modification 12.01.2024

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