A study of the history of traffic noise in a large city: modern Tokyo compared to Edo - the predecessor to Tokyo

Takako Otsuka

With the development of mechanized civilization, transportation of goods and people has become fast and convenient, at the expense of transportation noise which has become a serious problem. This paper aims at comparing the acoustical environment of a modern multi-million city (Tokyo) with the situation one to three centuries ago in the corresponding old city (Edo); also at that time one of the largest cities in the world. Attempts are made to explore traffic noise of Edo through historical records and to compare Edo and Tokyo in this respect. Naturally, as the noise in Edo was not quantified, this study is only qualitative. Edo was a highly developed city in the 17th-19th centuries with a unique system of distribution and ecology and was considered to be an unusually clean city of those times. It is concluded that traffic in Edo was intensive; yet relatively quiet as it was dominated by other modes of transportation than today and with non-motorized vehicles. Yet, sound from people who operated the road vehicles or who carried other people and goods must have been quite loud. At nighttime Edo was closed to traffic and was a quiet city, only interrupted by sound from night watches and fire guardians. Tokyo, on the other hand, is noisy both day and night.



Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) workshop in Stockholm

An open seminar and workshop in Stockholm will be held on 25-26 April 2018. The workshop deals with the use of CBA as a basis for decision-making in the public sector. The workshop is organized by, among others, Professor Jan-Eric Nilsson, VTI.

The 6st Humanist Conference

The 6th HUMANIST Conference will take place 13-14 June 2018 in the Hague, The Netherlands. The scope of the conference covers a wide range of topics on Human Factors in Transport. Tania Willstrand and Alexander Eriksson will present their research results.



VTI will develop simulators for ambulance staff

VTI has initiated a pilot study for paramedics with the Centre for Teaching & Research in Disaster Medicine and Traumatology and Linköping University. The aim is to give ambulance staff the opportunity to practice critical medical tasks in a moving vehicle in...


Unique electrified road opens in Sweden

The world’s first electrified road recharging the batteries of cars and trucks while driving opened in Sweden. The Swedish Minister for Infrastructure, Tomas Eneroth, was at the formal inauguration of the electrified road on April 11, 2018. VTI is one of 22...


Swedish road safety spreads internationally

Sweden is a leading country in terms of road safety, and the research conducted by the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI) has contributed to increased safety. VTI’s remit includes disseminating research results and keeping up to date...


A greater understanding of cyclists' behaviour

Cyclists are often accused of not following traffic rules and being hooligans on the road. New research shows that there is no support for this perception. "Our observations reveal no such general anarchy" says Sonja Forward, researcher at VTI.


New technology for road surface measurement tested

VTI has tested a new scanning-laser technology for road surface measurement. The tests show the new technology for comprehensive transverse-profile measurement provides dependable values in measuring transverse profile and rut depth.


Ulf Sandberg has been presented with the TTI Lifetime Achievement Award 2018

VTI’s Senior Research Leader Ulf Sandberg has been presented with the TTI Lifetime Achievement Award 2018 for his work on research into tyres and road surface.