The association takes advantage of the event to carry out “a marathon of air quality measurements in several critical points in the city of Lisbon”, explaining that they want to understand what air quality levels are like in Lisbon on DESC.
In Lisbon, there are several initiatives to mark the day, but no street closures are planned, unlike what happens, for example, in Gondomar or Vila Nova de Gaia, Vendas Novas or Celorico da Beira, Mealhada or Vagos.
In the capital, the first DESC was celebrated in 2000 with the closure of several areas in the city and on that day thousands of cars did not even enter the capital.
With the success of DESC that year and the following, in 2002 the European Mobility Week was launched, which has since been held in the European Union from 16 to 22 September.
With both initiatives, the aim is to encourage smooth and sustainable mobility, avoiding the emission of greenhouse gases and at the same time improving air quality and noise (DESC emerged following a European directive on air quality).
According to a recently released Zero statement, gas emissions generated by road transport in Portugal increased by 6.2% compared to the pre-pandemic period. “Emissions associated with the consumption of diesel and gasoline in road transport continue to increase”.
Today, the association, using an air quality measuring device (transported on a bicycle), will be in various locations around the city to measure levels of nitrogen dioxide.
The action, according to Zero, aims to draw attention “to the problems of air quality in Portuguese cities, to the urgency of removing cars from cities, to the need to reinforce public transport and to the consequences on peoples health” due to levels of pollutant concentrations above the values recommended by the World Health Organisation.
Last year, to mark the date, Zero released a study according to which one day a week without cars will save the equivalent of 03% to 05% of the diesel and gasoline consumed in urban areas.
Figures published in the press in 2018 showed that around 370,000 cars entered Lisbon every day.