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Importance of Visual Air Quality

Majestic mountains, cityscapes, shoreline vistas - these are all things that we enjoy gazing at and admiring - especially on a clear day. Our enjoyment of these viewscapes can rejuvenate the mind and contribute to our sense of well-being.

British Columbia is known for its spectacular vistas - our natural environment is highly valued and is an important aspect of our exceptional quality of life. In addition, these beautiful vistas provide economic benefits through increased tourism, property values, and business investment, making B.C. an attractive place to work, live and visit.


Benefits of Good Visual Air Quality

The visual air quality-health connection is well-founded. The microscopic particles that degrade visual air quality are also associated with an increased risk of cardiorespiratory disease.

Poor visual air quality can also have a negative impact on tourism, an important economic sector in B.C. One study estimates that a single poor visual air quality day in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley is estimated to cause an economic loss of almost $9 million in future tourist revenue.

Another study found that First Nations' cultural values and traditional knowledge are impacted when clear views of spiritually important mountains are obscured by air pollution.

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Visual Air Quality and Pollutant Reduction

The importance of visual air quality is reflected in the goals and activities of our partner agencies. For example, one of the goals of Metro Vancouver’s Air Quality Management Plan is to “improve visual air quality" and the Georgia Basin-Puget Sound International Airshed Strategy Coordinating Committee's goals include "increasing visibility" and "reducing regional haze."

Learn more about what you can do to help protect visual air quality in your community.