Automobiles are a leading source of greenhouse gases and local air pollutants, particularly in urban areas. Urban access regulation has received much attention as a way to reduce emissions and protect public health. However, despite their widespread use, rigorous evidence on the effectiveness remains limited, making it difficult for policymakers to make informed choices on, and garnering public support for it. Recent urban regulation focuses on banning access of high-emitting cars into Low Emission Zones. In this project, we propose to investigate the effectiveness of this type of urban access regulation in fostering broad and long-lasting effects beyond their positive effects of reducing local pollution in the restricted zones. We seek to explore three issues: (i) To what extent does this urban access regulation shift the vehicle composition fleet towards cleaner cars? (ii) Does it promote the habit of using the shared-mobility options?, and (iii) What are the impacts on economic activity in the restricted areas? Access to high-frequency and hyper-local data (on local air pollution, congestion, car registration, shared mobility and card transactions) will allow us to shed light on these issues through state-of-the-art econometric techniques. The results of this project can inform the ongoing debate concerning the best courses of action to address the environmental challenges faced by many cities across the world.
air pollution; low emission zones; electric vehicles; shared mobility; health