Air quality and pollution management
Air pollution is a major cause of premature death worldwide (killing millions every year); air pollution also incurs substantial health costs. While Australian cities generally enjoy better air quality than those in developing countries, air pollution still harms the nation’s productivity. In Sydney, currently Australia’s most populous city, air pollution costs billions of dollars every year. These costs stem from health-related expenses, building and infrastructure damage, ecosystem impacts and even lost tourism revenue. Although Australian governments at all levels are applying principles of ecologically sustainable development (ESD), including air quality management, air pollution still presents a major environmental challenge for Australian planners. There are a range of measures that planners can adopt to improve air quality, including more stringent regulations, eco-taxes and tradeable pollution mechanisms (e.g. carbon pricing). But environmental planners can also make a difference through better transport planning (see chapter 12), more efficient land use, better allocation of resources and by addressing environmental justice concerns (chapter 17), thus reducing the community’s exposure to air pollutants.
Australian Environmental Planning: Challenges and Future Prospects
Land Use and Environmental Planning