The Low Emissions Zone and six more recommendations to improve urban air quality

18/11/2019 - 12:49 h

Environment and Sustainability. This Saturday, a round table on the Barcelona Low Emissions Zone and other air quality improvement measures was held at the Centre for Research and Development.

A round table on the Barcelona Emissions Zone and other air quality improvement measures, such as the six recommendations proposed by the AIRUSE Project, was held last Saturday as part of Science Week.

On 16 November, a round table open to the public and moderated by Mònica Terribas was held at the Centre for Research and Development (CID-CSIC). The Barcelona Ring Roads Low Emissions Zone which is to come into force in the next few months, as well as the recommendations proposed by the researchers of the AIRUSE project, was discussed at the event.

The main focus of the debate was the different opinions expressed by the scientists and the representatives of various public bodies, as well as the queries and suggestions on these issues raised by members of the public.

The round table was thus composed of the Director of Sustainable Mobility Services of Barcelona Metropolitan Area ​​Carles Conill, the coordinator of the Eixample Respira residents’ platform Guillermo Lopez, the Deputy Mayor of Barcelona City Council Janet Sanz, the Air Quality coordinator of Ecologistes en Acció de Catalunya María García, the General Manager of Environmental Quality and Climate Change of the Generalitat de Catalunya Mercè Rius, the President of the Association for the Promotion of Public Transport Ricard Riol and IDAEA-CSIC researcher Xavier Querol.

AIRUSE project

A large proportion of the European population lives in urban areas where air pollution exceeds minimum air quality levels.

For this reason, the AIRUSE project led by Xavier Querol, a CSIC research professor at the Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research (IDAEA), has proposed six recommendations to improve the air quality of southern European cities. In 2018 AIRUSE beat over a hundred candidate projects to receive the European prize to “The Best of the Best Green Cities Project”.

Barcelona Ring Roads Low Emission Zone

In addition to being harmful to human health and the environment, air pollution is a global problem, as polluting substances are able to travel long distances.

This is why on 1 January 2020 Barcelona will launch a Low Emissions Zone (LEZ), a protected area spanning over 95 km2 where vehicles without the DGT’s environmental label will not be permitted to circulate. In addition, fines will start to be issued from April on the most highly polluting vehicles circulating in this restricted area.