Noise pollution in Cities Skylines

In Cities Skylines is detailed system of pollution. We could talk about garbage / water and noise. In today’s article I will show you how noise pollution works and how to avoid it with small changes in your city planning strategy.

On image bellow you could see one of mines city which I use for writing Cities Skylines category. There you could see “noise pollution” overview from special maps…

Noise pollution in basic city

You should see that there are some sources of noise pollution on map. Basically main sources of noise pollution in Cities Skylines are heavy traffic, commercial zones, industrial zones and unique buildings. Everything of this you could see on map above.

  • (1) is source of noise pollution unique building Mall of Moderation
  • (2) is high traffic in resident zones
  • (3) is my main road with commercial zones and traffic to them.

And in right down corner you could see highway which also produces noise pollution because traffic. Of course.

Typical sources of noise pollution.

So first step to reducing noise pollution is to identify where is noise pollution created and make some steps to avoid this. For me there are 4 basic steps which you could do better for reducing noise pollution which are:

  • Use noise reducing roads
  • Better planing zones
  • Use districts and polices
  • Optimize public transport

In other parts of these article we will look on this problems more detailed.

Noise reducing roads

At the start you could use for building just “Two-lane road” and “Four-lane road” which are good for start. But they aren’t good for noise reducing. Some types of roads in Cities Skylines has noise reducing property which reduce noise.

This roads has decorative trees which are natural barrier to noise pollution. So when you get these advanced roads then you could upgrade your actual layout to this roads which will reduce your pollution.

Four-lane road with decorative trees are better

On image bellow you could see part of mine city right after I replace roads to roads with decorative trees. You should see that immediately was noise pollution reduced. Is not eliminated but is significantly reduced.

Reducing pollution experiment

In later phases of game when you will get high density zones will be this good quick solution to fix your problems with noise pollution. There are table of best types of roads to use in Cities Skylines to reduce noise pollution:

Type of roadsWhich are best for reduce pollution
Small roadsTwo-lane roads with trees
Two-lane roads with median trees
Medium roadsFour-lane roads with decorative trees
Large avenue with grass
Large roadsSix-lane roads with decorative trees
Six-lane roads with median trees
HighwaysEverything with sounds bariers


Good way to optimize is thinking carefully about your zones tactics. Commercial zones special high density are a source of a lot of pollution in Cities Skylines. So if you build them near resident zones some people could have problems.

Is good to make some space between this zones if you build big city where could be parks or trees which will helps you with reducing this noise. I’m usually build commercial zones near office zones in lather phase so every one could go from office to home just across the commercial zone.

So is good to build commercial zones in center of your layout. After that is good to build office zones and after this zones is good to build resident zones. You could use parks or sidewalks to connect this zones more directly.


Another way how you could reduce noise pollution are polices. There is heavy traffic ban policy which you could use to ban heavy traffic to crossing inside your district. This policy will lead to deliverties with more vans so traffic will increase.

Heavy traffic ban in Cities Skylines

Or if you have After Dark DLC activated then you could use Old Town Policy which will setting your town to mode that only persons which works or live in zone will use cars. Of course I’m also talking about supplies. And another policy is NIMBY which lead to closing buildings for night.

Alternatively you could use combination of Combustion Engine Ban and Electric Cars when all of resident try to switch to electric cars which increase demand on electricity and in district won’t pass diesel engine cars and electric cars are more significantly quieter.

Public transport

And the last one big question about noise pollution is public transport. It is obvious that public transport generate noise. So could be good strategy to reduce budget and intervals in night to reduce noise. Probably will be bad strategy build big transport hubs in center of your resident zones and same it could be said to connecting your zones with crossing busses.

Keep public transport on your main routes and work carefully so that there are no traffic jams or illogical lines. In one district could be just one bus roads to connect peoples with other districts or for connecting to other more complex public transport types.

Cargo public transport like boars or trains build well away from the city. Like industrial zones (orange) creating a lot of noise and you don’t want it close to people.

Last tips with trees

In dev diaries about ParkLife DLC in 2018. Was mentioned this:

As a part of the free update we have redone the logic for tree props, like in real life the tree will now reduce Noise Pollution!

To achieve this the system will calculate the density of tree in an area and create heat map based on that data. Places that have higher concentration of tree will have more pronounced effect.

So if you build a lot of trees around high source of noise then will be everything ok. As I mention above with roads. Trees reduce noise. On image bellow you could see efficiency one part of highway has sound barriers which remove all noise pollution and part with trees doesn’t works much better than part without trees.

I'm Martin, the main creator of this site. I love city builders, transport, and war strategy games. So I create this site to share my love with others! Let's make Tycoon games great again!