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Effectiveness of mobility limitation policies against long term approaches in reduction of emitted pollutants

Beria, Paolo (2005): Effectiveness of mobility limitation policies against long term approaches in reduction of emitted pollutants.


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The paper aims to provide an analysis for different urban mobility policies in terms of local and global pollutants reduction. The paper will estimate the amount of total pollutants emitted in a chosen area and the delta generated by limitation policies (like total area blocks, vehicle plates based limitations, non EUROx blocks, diesel only blocks, city centre blocks, etc…) or by some more long term policies (generally adopted park pricing, finalised car fleets substitutions, public transport fleets renewal, public transport electrification, mobility management). The analysis will provide the amount of typical day emissions with and without the policies, showing which ones are more useful, also considering local starting point (fleets, local transport share, …). This allows a general “rank” of possible procedures in terms of emissions reduction in relation with total and transport only sector emissions, showing the real effectiveness of limitation policies, commonly used to manage temporary emergencies in urban pollutants concentration, but that sometimes risk to become a structural policy approach. Some considerations will be also done on the topic of costs and damages distribution and efficiency for these policies, giving suggestions for more effective and fair mid and long term ones. The method uses locally adapted Copert III coefficients for road vehicles and ad hoc produced emission coefficients for electric public transport, basing on local energy production mix and public transport modes and vehicles. The area analysed will be the Milan province (Italy). It’s characterised by a wide mid-density urbanisation zone, with some important urban sprawl problems and large use of private cars, around the compact urban area with a massive attraction power and good mass transit services. The car use is more relevant and damage causing for the mobility in the ring area, starting from XXth century urbanisation to the farthest places of radial urban area. The historical centre, even if quite crowded, is proportionally less affected, even if his attraction power is the highest of the region, due to subway and transit systems and effective park pricing. Short term actions used for pollution reductions are limitations. These seem to be effective, but in very short term only (day by day pollution concentration reductions), while long term effects are negligible. Considering long term policies and projects in the area, some more effective actions are in action or wait to start: mass transit investments, park pricing extension outside the very centre of Milan city and incentives for LPG, NG cars and small electric vehicles introduction, even if not widely applied. The analysis carried for Milan city and suburbs can be easily extended to other urban areas or to a whole region, simply changing the fleets, the flows reduction assumptions done and the typical characteristics of transit system, emission coefficients and energy mix.

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