Evaluation of the Implementation of a Low Emission Zone in Lisbon


The city of Lisbon, like many others in the EU region, introduced a Low Emission Zone (LEZ) as a tool for improving air quality in its city centre. This kind of emission reduction schemes is always controversial since it might lead to significant changes in the daily behaviours of its inhabitants. In order to evaluate the effects of the measure, an estimation of the impact of the introduction of the Lisbon LEZ was performed. Real traffic counting and fleet characterization combined with CORINAR-based emission inventory methodology allowed to estimate the impacts of three different scenarios applied to the “business as usual” condition (current vehicle fleet) ranging from “no circulation from non- compliant vehicles” to an “aggressive fleet renewal”. Results highlight the high percentage of atmospheric emissions of PM10 and NOx that might result from certain fleets like taxis and buses, especially because there was an emphasis in standardized/normalized estimations (emissions per 1000 vehicles) in order to allow different strategic approaches. The total reduction of PM10 emissions associated to each scenario vary between 6 ton.year-1 (scenario 2) and 8 ton.year-1 (scenario 1), or 25% and 34% less emissions. In terms of NOxemission reductions vary between 6 ton.year-1 (scenario 2) and 57 ton.year-1 (scenario 1), or 1% and 7% less emissions. The Lisbon LEZ is therefore much more efficient in reducing PM10 emissions compared to NOx. Major reduction in PM10 and NOx emissions are to be expected with a moderate intervention in the (relatively old) taxi fleet in Lisbon while for passenger cars the impact is limited. However in absolute terms and due to its urban mileage passenger cars should also continue being included in Lisbon LEZ. Simultaneously, an effort in the increase of dedicated lanes for public transport should be made, for further reductions in PM10 and NOx emissions.

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F. Ferreira, P. Gomes, A. Carvalho, H. Tente, J. Monjardino, H. Brás and P. Pereira, "Evaluation of the Implementation of a Low Emission Zone in Lisbon," Journal of Environmental Protection, Vol. 3 No. 9A, 2012, pp. 1188-1205. doi: 10.4236/jep.2012.329137.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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