Reducing Vehicle Pollutant Emissions in Urban Areas with Alternative Parking Policies

Shefer Daniel, Bechor Shlomo and Mishory-Rosenberg Daphna

Published in:  A. Rose, P. Nijkamp, and K. Kourtit (eds.) Regional Science Matters – Studies Dedicated to Walter Isard, Berlin: Springer Verlag 2014, Chapter 20.


Most metropolitan areas suffer from traffic-related air pollution. A major reason for this phenomenon is related to the increase in vehicle-kilometers traveled, which is an outcome of urban sprawl and an increase in the motorization rate. Although significant progress in vehicle technology has greatly improved air quality in developed countries, there is still a lack of policy mechanisms to mitigate air quality impacts resulting from traffic pollution.

This paper examines policy measures that can be implemented by decision-makers in order to improve urban air quality. Focusing on parking policy, this paper attempts to gain an understanding of the relationship between parking-policy enforcement in the Central Business District (CBD) and air-pollution emissions from motor vehicles. The site chosen for study is the Tel Aviv Metropolitan Area (TAMA).

The methodology presented is applied to a real-world situation, using data and models from a Mass Transit project initiated by TAMA. The traffic-related emissions are estimated from a four-stage transportation model that provides traffic volumes and travel times for each link in the network. Two policy measures are analyzed: reducing parking supply and increasing parking fees. The paper discusses the suitability of parking policies to meet environmental objectives.