Eco-zones Seminar

Wednesday 28 March 2012 - Leuven Faculty Club

An LEZ defines an area that a vehicle is allowed to enter only if it is classified as a low pollution vehicle (mainly PM10). All high-polluting vehicles are either banned from driving into the LEZ or have to pay an extra fee to enter the city. To date, LEZs have been implemented in more than 150 cities in nine EU countries. Germany, in particular, has been at the forefront of efforts worldwide to establish LEZs.

Reducing pollution in cities is important and the EU has put forward strict concentration limits for EU cities. Cities can meet these limits using a combination of measures on vehicles, modal change (public transport) and traffic flow measures.

In the Benelux, no LEZ have been established up to now but there is a clear interest from cities and regional environmental authorities to move into that direction.

Any measure to address pollution in cities can have important impacts on other externalities. An increase in the cost of driving by imposing fees or more expensive cleaner cars, reduces congestion and makes more parking space available. These side effects are beneficial but there are also risks for a rerouting of traffic and of pollution to nearby zones that remain unregulated and the city itself could lose some of its economic attractiveness. On the other hand, LEZ could be used to introduce road pricing for a city in a disguised way.


  • 9h45 - 10h00: Coffee
  • 10h15: Opening - Prof. Stef Proost (KU Leuven)
  • 10h30: EU air quality regulations over time - Dr. Wouter Lefebvre & Dr. Inge Mayeres (VITO)
  • 11h00: Italian experience with ecopass in Milan - Angelo Martino (Trasporti e Territorio, Italy)
  • 11h30: German experience - Dr. Axel Friedrich (Umweltbundesamt, Germany)
  • 12h00: Lunch
  • 13h30: Dutch policy perspective - Dr. Jan Anne Annema (TU Delft)
  • 14h00: Belgian perspective (Brussel, Antwerpen, Vlaanderen) - Dr. Ysaak Yperman (TML) & Dr. Wouter Lefebvre (VITO)
  • 15h00: Coffee
  • 15h30: Round table: What can we expect in terms of policy? High level policy and industry representatives - Moderator: Prof. Stef Proost
  • 16h30: Closing and announcement of the winner of the BIVEC-GIBET PhD Award - Prof. Frank Witlox (UGent, ITMMA), chairman BIVEC
  • 16h45: Reception