Urban low emissions zones: A behavioral operations management perspective

Virginie J.C. Lurkin (Corresponding author), Julien Hambuckers, Tom van Woensel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
23 Downloads (Pure)


Environmental traffic restrictions are increasingly implemented in a large number of cities. One popular strategy consists in setting up Low Emission Zones (LEZs) that regulate or restrict the access to a dedicated urban area, for different classes of polluting vehicles. While LEZs are growing in numbers, there is a lack of objective evidence on when and how they actually contribute in reducing air pollution. The main objective of this paper is to show how different LEZ setups lead to different impacts on air pollution. To do so, we use a conceptual framework based on simulated traffic data and behavioral hypotheses. Our analysis highlights that the impact of LEZ on air pollution does not only depend on the severity of the operational rules, but also on its interaction with the behavior adopted by road users, and calls for ex ante considerations of these aspects before establishing the LEZ.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)222-240
Number of pages19
JournalTransportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Pollution
  • Road users behavior
  • Urban low emission zones


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