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Transport emissions and air quality

About the city centre's transport emissions and air quality 

Auckland’s highest air pollution levels are found in the city centre, with transport being the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions.

Its narrow roads flanked by high buildings create deep street canyons which restrict ventilation of air pollutants. The pollutants include nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and fine particulate matter, including black carbon. This results in levels which sometimes exceed national and international regulatory standards for air quality.

Key to reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in the city centre is a reduction in general traffic movement and emissions from buses and other large, heavy goods and construction vehicles.

Auckland's commitment to reducing emissions 

In addition to this outcome's interactions with other initiatives, Auckland Council is also working with Ports of Auckland who are seeking to deliver:

  • shore power for container ships and cruise ships
  • hydrogen production and storage, as a zero carbon fuel source
  • electric logistics, including greater use of rail.

In taking these steps, the city centre is well positioned to have the cleanest air of any city, anywhere in the world, with a population of more than one million.

Sustainable streets 

Hotter weather, heavier rainfall and a higher population will impose new demands on Auckland’s streets.

An environmentally sensitive approach to public realm design is needed to:

  • address urban heat island effects
  • reduce carbon emissions
  • respond to climate change
  • deliver healthy streets.

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