The institution of a Low Emission Zone is a frequent and consolidated action in the administrative practice of cities and the impacts and benefits concerning air quality are widely analyzed, while the effects related to noise pollution have not been comprehensively addressed. A LEZ is an urban area subjected to traffic restrictions in order to ensure compliance with the atmospheric pollutant threshold values, set by the European Air Quality Directive (2008/50/EC). The definition, the criteria for analysis and the management methods of a " Noise Low Emission Zone" are not yet clearly expressed and shared.
The LIFE MONZA project (Methodologies fOr Noise low emission Zones introduction and management - LIFE15 ENV / IT / 000586) is dedicated to these topics, of which ISPRA is beneficiary coordinator, co-funded by the European Commission, whose main objective is to develop and experiment a methodology, easily replicable and developable in different contexts,. This is crucial for the identification and management of the "Noise Low Emission Zone", an urban area subjected to traffic restrictions, whose impacts and benefits concerning the issues of noise pollution will be analyzed and tested in the pilot area of the Municipality of Monza. The latter is one of the project partners together with the University of Florence and the Engineering Company Vie en.ro.se. In the pilot area, the effects on air quality and the health benefits of residents will be analyzed at the same time.
Further objectives of the project concern the definition of the type of interventions capable of inducing beneficial and synergistic effects with regard to noise pollution, such as those concerning the planning of traffic flows, the adoption of low noise road pavements, and the active involvement of the population in the definition of a different and more sustainable lifestyle. In order to establish an active dialogue between public institutions and citizens, questionnaires will be administered, concerning the various environmental issues, a system will be developed for sharing good practices, meetings will be held with primary and secondary school students, who will participate in the competition of ideas dedicated to the creation of the logo of the Noise Low Emission Zone of the pilot area.
In order to contribute to the implementation of the European directives, avoiding overlappings, the potential synergies between the issues related to noise pollution and air quality, concerning the investigating activities, the monitoring criteria, the methods of representation and, in particular, the mitigation and improvement interventions, related to the introduction of the Noise Low Emission Zone, will be probed and, where possible, made coherent.
In particular, the adoption of the Low Emission Zone is envisaged within the Air Quality Action Plans, whilst it is not explicitly considered in the drafting of the Action Plan dedicated to manage noise problems and the related effects, introduced by the Directive 2002/49/EC, concerning the determination and management of environmental noise. The Annex V of Directive 2002/49/EC defines the minimum requirements of the plan, indicating, among the possible measures to be taken, spatial planning and traffic planning, areas where the Noise Low Emission Zone has the right of belonging.
The results of the project will allow drafting the Guidelines for the introduction and management of the Noise Low Emission Zone, in order to reduce the impacts due to noise pollution and improve air quality, evaluating the beneficial effects on the state of health and promoting a more sustainable lifestyle. The methodology developed within the project will be presented to citizens, stakeholders and public institutions. The Ministry of the Environment and the Protection of the Territory and the Sea has declared its interest in the results of the project. The Ministry of Infrastructures and the interested European Commission Directorates will be informed about the results of the project.
Pilot Area - Municipality of Monza - Libertà District
The Libertà District is identified as a critical area in the Action Plan drawn up under the END Directive, concerning the determination and management of environmental noise.
The strategic map of the Municipality of Monza (2012), shows that in the 30-meters range from Viale Libertà the 100% of the receivers are exposed to noise levels higher than 65 dB (A) during the day and 55 dB (A) during the night.