Vancouver Official Says Pollution and Housing Shouldn't Mix

A motion in Vancouver, British Columbia, calls for reconsidering policies that site multifamily buildings on busy trucking corridors where diesel emissions are high.
June 5, 2019, 8am PDT | Camille Fink
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Jean Swanson, a Vancouver city councillor, is seeking support for a motion that would examine zoning, building code, and planning policies to ensure that health and safety standards are maintained for all residents. Her concern is that residents of multifamily buildings located on high-traffic corridors are exposed to dangerous amounts of air pollution, primarily from diesel trucks.

"The motion could also see Vancouver try to garner support from other Canadian municipalities to pressure the provincial and federal governments to take stronger action on road pollution, particularly from heavy trucks," writes Ainslie Cruickshank.

Pollution levels along busy trucking routes in Vancouver are as high as those found on Highway 401 near Toronto, North America’s busiest freeway, notes Cruickshank. Residents living in developments near these roadways can face a host of health problems as a result, and Swanson’s motion seeks to ensure that these impacts do not disproportionately burden people living in these areas.

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