Encourage active travel through walking, cycling and public transport and deploy sustainable alternatives to decarbonise transport.


Why take action?

Unlike the dense smog and smoking chimneys of the past, today’s air pollution is largely considered invisible; caused mainly by emissions from vehicles that can descend into the lungs and aggravate existing health problems such as asthma and heart and respiratory disease. The Scottish Government acknowledges that local authorities are meeting their statutory responsibilities in actively working towards achieving air quality standards.  However, across many areas of Scotland including Dundee, the rate of progress must increase if air quality standards are to be met.  

The Cleaner Air for Scotland Strategy – The Road to a Healthier Future is being implemented to help meet these standards and sets out proposals to reduce air pollution further and fulfil Scotland’s legal responsibilities.  It has six main objectives on Transport, Health, Placemaking, Legislation & Policy, Communication and Climate Change, with sustainability as a common thread throughout. In addition, Scottish local authorities must consider air quality when developing a Climate Action Plan. 

Dundee has an Air Quality Action Management Area covering the whole of the local authority area, as there are locations where the Scottish and UK Air Quality Standards and EU limits for nitrogen dioxide (NO2 ) and fine particulates (PM10 ) are being exceeded. 

Placemaking is how we plan, design and manage our towns and cities. This can significantly impact air quality and is fundamental to both the Scottish Government’s spatial planning policies and Dundee’s Local Development Plan. For example, integrating greenspaces into existing developments can act as a buffer against noise and emissions from vehicles, whilst improving green spaces and active travel opportunities. New developments can be designed so that they generate less traffic, are well linked to public transport, walking and cycling routes and make it easier for people to make sustainable transport choices. This not only helps reduce air pollution but also creates attractive, healthy places to work and live in.  

The new National Planning Framework 3 and Scottish Planning Policy set out the Scottish Government’s spatial strategy and planning policies to ensure more connected, sustainable places that reduce the need to travel; integrate different transport modes; and provide safe, convenient opportunities for active travel.

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