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Low Emission Zone: Lisbon’s Experience

Fernando Nunes da Silva1, Renata A. Lajas Custódio2, and Helena Martins2
1.University of Lisbon – Instituto Superior Técnico / Civil Engineering and Architecture Department, Lisbon, Portugal
2.Municipality of Lisbon, Lisboa, Portugal
Abstract—The problem of air quality in urban areas is an issue that has earned increasing attention of European Union and the Portuguese State throughout the last twenty years, culminating in the approval in 1996 of the European Air Quality Directive and its enforcement obligation in each European Country. The national Portuguese public body responsible for air quality management and monitoring elaborated Air Quality Plans and Programs and the respective execution programs for territories that don’t comply with the defined air quality legal limits, which is the case of Lisbon Metropolitan Area. Only with the introduction of a legal process against the Portuguese state in 2011 it was politically possible to adopt clear restrictions to traffic emissions and implement a Low Emission Zone (LEZ) in Lisbon as it was proposed by the respective Air quality Plan for this territory. The two phases of implementation of Lisbon’s LEZ already accomplished in 2013 a reduction of both 16% of Particulate Matter (PM10) concentration and a of 6% Nitrogen diozide (NO2), for the more polluted area of Lisbon (Av. Liberdade/Baixa Axis). It was also verified that the main impact of this LEZ was not the reduction of vehicle traffic circulation but the changing of vehicle fleet characteristics. This paper describes the implementation process of Lisbon’s LEZ, the results obtained, the main problems that have been overcome and those that subsist, pointing out the conditions to develop the process until the accomplishment of the limits of pollutant concentrations imposed by law.

Index Terms—low emission zones, lisbon, air quality, air pollution

Cite: Fernando Nunes da Silva, Renata A. Lajas Custódio, and Helena Martins, "Low Emission Zone: Lisbon's Experience," Journal of Traffic and Logistics Engineering, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 133-139, June 2014. doi: 10.12720/jtle.2.2.133-139
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