Measures to reduce air pollution should be encouraged over those that simply seek to avoid it, the RTPI has said in its response to draft guidance from public health body, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
The Institute said siting buildings away from busy roads would continue to encourage ‘car based approaches’ to urban design which discourage walking and cycling. In turn this increases pollution generated by vehicles.
Describing this approach as running contrary to best practice urban design, the RTPI says that the guidance should facilitate high-density development on main roads with good transport connections and focus on reducing the pollution generated by cars and other sources.
The RTPI has welcomed the guidance which affirms the link between planning and environmental and public health, but has called for best practice examples of new developments which have proven to help residents reduce motorised travel or protect them from exposure to air pollution in high-density environments.
The RTPI also recommends:
- locating new developments close to existing towns and jobs rather than poorly connected isolated places
- locating schools away from busy roads but near sustainable modes of transport, such as rail and cycling so that children don’t always have to be driven
NICE provides national guidance and advice to improve health and social care. It is currently consulting on draft guidance on outdoor air quality and health which is due to be published in June 2017.
Read: RTPI response to NICE Draft Guideline on Outdoor Air Pollution