Improving the air quality is linked to reducing road traffic - Contribution on the situation in Paris

The quality of air is improving in Paris and in the central areas of the Parisian conglomeration, however, the levels of nitrogen dioxide and suspended particle matter (PM10) remain worrying and above the annual levels required which necessitate that action be carried out in all business sectors. In Paris particularly, road traffic remains the key factor to be addressed, contributing two thirds of NO2 emissions and one third of PM10 emissions.

Quai de Gesvres, cyclist wearing an anti-particle mask © Apur - David Boureau

The technical improvement of motor vehicles, most definitely essential, contributes efficiently to reducing levels of emission, which have dropped significantly in the last 10 years. Putting in place zones of low emissions and more occasionally, alternating traffic control operations during pollution peaks, The No Car Day and Paris Respire (Breath Paris) also have important beneficial effects.
Nevertheless, considering the abrasive role of roads, tyres and brakes in the emission notably of PM10, the reduction of road traffic, which is part of the Ile-de-France Urban Travel Plan, should remain a priority objective that encourages the development of other modes of alternative transport.  

Through drawing upon and cross-referencing the different studies, particularly those of Airparif, King’s College, the City of Paris and Métropole du Grand Paris, this note compares and puts into perspective the highly beneficial effects that reducing road traffic has on health, accidentology,  the environment, noise and more generally the quality of life. It proposes lines of thought to be pursued, such as continuing to document the impact of traffic restriction measures, developing the car fleet in liaison with car manufacturers towards vehicles that are more compact and less emission producing and which are adapted to the low speeds required in cities.

Infographie - L’amélioration de la qualité de l’air en lien avec la baisse du trafic routier - Contribution sur la situation à Paris © Apur


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    Improving the air quality is linked to reducing road traffic - Contribution on the situation in Paris

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