Re ECF Project: 2007-05

Project Title: On the Public's willingness-to-pay for improved acoustics of residential environments

Applicant: The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Prof. TANG Shiu Keung and Prof. CHAU Chi Kwan)

Total Approved Grant: $401,920

Duration: 01/05/2008 to 30/4/2010

Project Status/Remarks: Completed

The objective is to explore the awareness of the Hong Kong general pubic on their surrounding acoustical environment and to understand whether they are willing to pay for any improvement of the acoustical environment. An extensive noise survey combined with a specially designed willing-to-pay survey with a special focus to the Hong Kong need will be carried out.

Summary of the Findings/Outcomes:
This study applied discrete choice experiment jointly with the socio-acoustic study to estimate the willingness-to-pay value for a dB(A) change at a range of initial noise levels for a sampled population in Hong Kong.

Of particular value of this study is that an innovative protocol has been developed for estimating the willingness-to pay values by taking into account the characteristics that the possibility of being annoyed at a particular level varied with the initial objective noise level, and the annoyance-dB relationship varied with the particular range of annoyance level. Respondents were interviewed at locations with an objective noise level lying between 50-90 dB(A).

Overall, the respondents were found to be willing to pay HK$57.37 monthly per household to lower one annoyance level at their apartments. The Willing -to -pay (WTP) value elicited by the respondents who can see greenery view in their homes were willing to pay HK$62.78 per month per household. On average, residents with no perception of greenery would pay more for reducing noise annoyance at home. And the results show that the difference between the two groups is statistically significant. An annoyance-response relationship was developed from the data for which prediction of noise level at respondents' apartment was feasible. An annoyance level is found to be equal to 2 dB(A). Therefore the overall WTP is HK$29.22 per dB(A).