Low-emission zones already exist in a number of European cities like London Amsterdam, Cologne and Florence. Cars and lorries that release high levels of particulate matter are banned in these particular areas.
There were talks of a low-emission zone in the European quarter in Brussels, but a study ordered by the Brussels Region and carried out by the agency Transport&Mobility Leuven shows that the positive impact on mobility and the environment would not be very big. The pros are not equally balanced with the cons.
It's difficult to introduce a zone, and at the same time 75 percent of the vehicles that are banned are being replaced within a year's time as people buy new types. This means it does not really lead to a reduction of traffic congestion.
"The real solution for the problem of poor air quality is situated at other levels, like stimulating public transport and a change of mentality among motorists, who should take the car less often", Ms Huytebroeck explains.