Low-Emission Zones in Antwerp

Feasibility study for the introduction of low-emission zones in the city of Antwerp

A low-emission zone (LEZ) is an area with restricted access for the most polluting vehicles. Vehicles are banned when their emissions exceed a set level. LEZs are introduced to improve local air quality. This study explores the feasibility of introducing a LEZ in the city of Antwerp.

We looked for a suitable location for the LEZ. The impact on mobility, local air quality and noise were determined. The area between the Scheldt and the Singel was deemed to be the most suitable for the introduction of aLEZ. 

The following restrictions were proposed for the LEZ:

  2015 2020
passenger car - diesel Euro 3 + particulate filter Euro 5
passenger car - petrol Euro 1 Euro 2
heavy duty vehicle Euro 4 Euro 5

The introduction of a LEZ decreases emissions of NO2 (nitrogen dioxide), PM2.5 (fine particles) and EC (ultra fine particles). There is a positive impact on public health. The inhabitants' life expectancy may increase by 25 days.

Furthermore, the required framework and preconditions were determined to introduce and to manage a LEZ in the city of Antwerp. We looked at legal issues, technical implementation and enforcement strategies. We considered opportunities for flanking policies and took public support as well as on-going projects and mobility plans into account.  

Finally, we made a social cost-benefit analysis. The costs for the government are 5 to 8 million euro (net present value (NPV)). The costs for the users are 119 to 122 million euros (NPV). These costs include the installation of particulate filters and the costs of prematurely replacing vehicles with cleaner ones. Health benefits are estimated to amount to 200 million euro (NPV). Since the NPV of the benefits exceeds the NPV of the costs, this has been deemed a socially profitable project.


Final report: LEZ_Antwerpen.pdf (in Dutch)



funded by

City of Antwerp


Isaak Yperman, Filip Vanhove, Eef Delhaye




Griet De Ceuster

+32 16 31.77.30
reference: 12.32