Drivers won’t be able to travel through Lisbon’s city center for at least the next three months. Photo Credit: Viola Lopes/Picture Alliance via Getty Images

Environment Portugal9. May 2023

Fewer Cars in the Center of This City

Lisbon becomes the latest European city to reduce traffic within its center, first through a three-month trial period with measures already considered for an extended imposition, as Portugal’s capital aims at becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

The historic heart of Lisbon will be free from most vehicles over 3.5 metric tons – including tourist buses and excluding all forms of public transit – between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., joining the ranks of Paris, Amsterdam, and London which have introduced measures to bar access to their respective inner cities. In addition, cars will be restricted to driving to, not through, the city.

Beyond Lisbon’s downtown, a semi-circular ring of major roads will serve as a beltway. With the Portuguese capital already under substantial major construction – a metro extension, the installation of new storm drains to prevent flooding along the city’s waterfront, street resurfacing, and work on sewers, it seems justified, if not necessary, to redirect the traffic since those combined disruptions already risk to clog roads. The city officials are considering maintaining in perpetuity the ban on daytime heavy goods vehicles. Lisbon is one of 122 EU cities to have pledged to reach carbon neutrality by 2030.


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