The Socio-Economic Impacts of Low Emission Zones Projects uri icon


  • FABRA PORTELA, NATALIA   Principal Researcher  
  • ., IMELDA   Researcher  


  • Private Sector Competitive Project


  • SR20-00796

date/time interval

  • February 1, 2021 - January 31, 2023


  • 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