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Air quality in our city

August 27, 2015   /   News 

You would not be able to tell these days but air quality in our city and in north american cities has improved over the past decades. The current fires around the region have definitely affected temporarily our air quality. According to an article published by The Canadian Press on August 26 air quality officials have indicated that:

smoke from wildfires in the Pacific Northwest has made the quality of air in the city worse than in Beijing and New Delhi

Calgary will go back to normal soon enough but some north american cities suffer daily from air pollution. Some of the worst pollution is not the obvious result of the use of the car. Some of the worst air pollution comes from agriculture. According to an annual  ranking from the “American Lung Association“, you would be surprised to see a city like Bakersfield ranking as one of the worst city. Dust, Pesticide and fertilizers are some of the cause of the air pollution affecting this city.

Planning for air quality in our city

Air quality is becoming an important factor in the planning of cities. Smoky days like today in the City of Calgary reminds us of how important fresh and clean air is. Unfortunately, it is a discussion that rarely takes place until it is too late. Urban planners and cities have regulated air pollution for industrial and commercial users for decades by limiting output. Regulating the users is not always the solution. Looking at the collective and cumulative effect of the car is a good example of how difficult it is to regulate the user. Instead, proper planning of cities is needed to reduce air pollution. To plan well, we need to identify the source “big and small” and bring to discussion at the forefront. That’s what a few smoky days in Calgary should remind us.