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Capital of Czech Republic

Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic with 1.24 million inhabitants and a total metropolitan population of almost 2 million people. The city is the fifth most visited European city (2014) with more than 4.4 million international visitors. The public transportation system consists of a large metro system, trams, buses, funiculars and six ferries. Public transport is intensely used and has one of the highest modal shares in the European Union (43%).

Overall Grade: D- 62%

Pie Chart 62
  • Graph Reduction Success Local Emissions
  • Graph Low Emission Zones & Bans of High Emitters
  • Graph Public Procurement Clean Cars
  • Graph Non-Road Mobile Emission Sources
  • Graph Use of Economic Incentives
  • Graph Traffic & Mobility Management Incl. Modal Split
  • Graph Promotion of Public Transport
  • Graph Promotion of Walking & Cycling
  • Graph Transparency & Communication Policy


Reduction Success Local Emissions

During recent years, PM10 exceedance days have fluctuated massively, being consistently far above EU limit values: Between 2008 and 2012, the number of exceedance days of PM10 decreased at the Smíchov traffic station from 72 to 38, with an intermediate high of 77 exceedance days in 2010. Nevertheless, annual mean concentrations of PM10 are below EU limits and decreased from 36.1 µg/m3 to 30.2 µg/m3 between 2008 and 2012.

Prague consistently experienced NO2 concentrations above EU limit values between 2008 and 2012, although a slight reduction trend within this time could be detected: annual mean values decreased from 46.3 to 42.4 µg/m3. Unverified data for 2013 and 2014 show a further decrease in the PM10 and NO2 concentrations, which possibly leads to compliance with EU limits.

Low Emission Zones & Bans of High Emitters

After the necessary prerequisites were created in national law, the city of Prague decided to introduce a Low Emission Zone (LEZ) starting in 2016. There will be two different schemes in place. The LEZ for cars in its first stage requires Euro 1 for petrol vehicles and Euro 3 for diesel vehicles. In 2018, diesel vehicles will need to comply with Euro 4 standards to enter the city. The LEZs will initially be implemented at a very low level, but regulations will be tightened in 2018. Even though not in place at the time of evaluation and no experience with enforcement exists as yet, Prague has nevertheless made huge steps forward.

Additionally, there is a permit scheme for lorries. In this scheme, buses and trucks heavier than 3.5 tonnes are restricted in the city centre and trucks heavier than 6t are restricted within the wider ring road. Euro IV compliance is obligatory to be granted a permit. Furthermore, there is the ARS (Access Control Scheme) for coaches and tour buses.

Public Procurement Clean Cars

In the last few years, Prague has invested in its municipal and bus fleet: it increased its fleet of Compressed Natural Gas cleaning vehicles to 35 in 2010. And additionally, 720 new Euro V/EEV buses (a replacement of over 50% of the fleet) were to be purchased between 2010 and 2015 (with 40 new EEV buses between 2012 and 2015). There are two electric minibuses, three electric municipal cars, and some CNG fuelled buses in operation. A wider deployment is planned. There was only limited information of the overall fleet, but with these measures the city proved its concern for air quality in public procurement.

Non-Road Mobile Emission Sources

EU regulations have been implemented into national law, but no further information could be retrieved about national, regional or local instruments for decreasing emissions from construction machinery or other non-road mobile machinery.

Use of Economic Incentives

Prague has a parking management scheme with three different parking zones. In the core of the city centre (Prague Conservation Area) with an area of 8.7 km2, there are approximately 33,000 parking spots, of which roughly half are located on the road network (16,000). The other half of the parking spaces are in public car parks (9,300), or private car parks (4,700), garages and courtyards (3,000). Furthermore, there are over 3,000 parking spaces in 16 Park & Ride locations.

Traffic & Mobility Management Incl. Modal Split

Prague does not seem to have a comprehensive mobility strategy, although it has a very high level of motorisation, which has increased over the last 10 years. There were about 690 registered vehicles and 540 registered cars per 1,000 inhabitants in 2013. Nevertheless, the modal split during workdays for 2013 shows a high share of public transport (43%), followed by motorised private transport with 33% and 23% pedestrians. Only 1% of people cycle. There are no modal split targets available. Yearly, Prague spends CZK 25m (= €0.9m) on transport. The car sharing system CAR4WAY was launched in 2013 with 50 cars. The plan was to extend this to 150 cars by the end of 2014.

Promotion of Public Transport

Prague has a comprehensive public transport system with three metro lines, 31 tram lines and 148 bus lines. Retrieved information show that the public transport system has been extended over the last ten years. However, in recent years the overall length of the system slightly decreased both in network length and passenger kilometres. There are plans for a new metro line which should open in 2018. Tariffs for public transport are relatively cheap.

Promotion of Walking & Cycling

The city of Prague has only a share of 1% for cycling in its current modal split. The city cycling development plan for 2020 envisages a share of 5-7% for cycling during summer and 2-3% during winter. The city plans to create infrastructure to reinforce this ambition. Plans foresee an increase in the total length of cycling lanes from 350 km in 2009 to 1,000 km in 2020. As investments in cycling increased in the past from CZK 12.5m (€0.46m) in 2004 to CZK 73m (€2.6m) in 2009, the city has proved its raised commitment to cycling.

Transparency & Communication Policy

There is a national website for air quality with current air quality values, an interactive map, information on legislation, as well as monthly, quarterly and yearly data reports. However, there is no background information on pollutants. Direct and personal phone and email contacts are available.

National website on air quality (Engl.):…

The Prague Institute of Planning and Development operates a local data information portal, which provides air pollution data and models (Engl.):