Building Along Busy Corridors? Public Health Experts Urge Caution
In response to plans by the city of Vancouver to add 18,000 new housing units to the high-traffic Cambie corridor over the next 25 years, public health experts discuss the impact of living near high traffic.
CBC spoke to one professor, Michael Brauer, from the University of British Columbia. He noted the benefits of density near transit, but also said that dense residential building in high-traffic areas means more prolonged exposure to air pollution. The emissions, particulates, and even noise caused by traffic can increase rates of lung cancer, heart attacks, and asthma in residents nearby, as well as birth difficulties.
Because the effects of air pollution are so localized—with even a block or two significantly reducing the risks—Brauer proposes mitigating exposure in dense areas by building housing a block or two off the busiest streets and locating retail on the lowest two floors.