Transport Policy Measures for Clean Air

Foto: Marianne Weiss/VCÖ
Foto: Marianne Weiss/VCÖ
Foto: Marianne Weiss/VCÖ
Foto: Marianne Weiss/VCÖ

VCÖ aims to improve the knowledge of key stakeholders on the transport related part of the air quality problems as well as to present the stakeholders with different already internationally proven measures to improve air quality. This includes measures such as expanding the parking management in cities, improving and expanding public transport systems, improving the conditions for pedestrians and cyclists and stricter rules for polluting vehicles including introducing low emission zones and congestion charging.

The project is primarily designed for relevant stakeholders in the public administration, politicians, academics, NGOs and relevant decision makers in private companies.

In December 2012, VCÖ organised a panel discussion with experts on spatial planning, Environment&Transport and representatives from the political and administrative level on clean air in the city, mainly focusing on measures needed in Vienna. This sparked off a lively discussion demonstrating clearly that to truly ensure that the health of the inhabitants is not damaged by transport we need a combination of measures and better cooperation between the political entities. Furthermore, there is a need for measures with immediate effect such as low emissions zones and particle filters, but long term measures such as changing spatial planning away from promoting a car-centred way of life should not be forgotten.

In January 2013, they held our second panel discussion focusing on congestion charging as a measure to improve air quality. VCÖ had the former mayor of London Ken Livingstone make an inspiring key note speech on his experience from introducing low emission zone and congestion charging in London. Afterwards, Livingstone met with the Vice-mayor of Vienna Maria Vassilakou and Erwin Toplak from the Company Kapsch and Markus Gansterer from VCÖ to discuss the opportunity for and benefits of introducing congestion charging in the bigger Austrian cities. We had around 150 guests including people from ministries, politicians from the national and regional level, transport planners, doctors and NGOs. 

As part of the project, VCÖ will publish fact sheets on congestion charging as a measure for better air quality as well as a fact sheet focusing on particles smaller than PM 10.

In addition to the events and the fact sheets, we are continuously working with the media to raise awareness of the role of transport regarding the potential dangers to public health as well as to make the measures to cope with the problems better known and more widely supported. Furthermore, we keep in contact with relevant stakeholders on both national and regional levels to push for better air quality and new measures in transport.