How to Reduce Air Pollution in SIM City 4

Written by bryant harland
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Air pollution in the city-building simulation game "Sim City 4" causes Sims to leave the city, lowering your city's income. The major causes of air pollution are industrial buildings and traffic. High-tech industrial buildings don't generate pollution, so it is safe to build these next to residential areas; this reduces both the traffic problem, and the problem of air pollution-generating industry.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Start a new city by building an elementary school, high school and college. The three should be placed near each other.

  2. 2

    Place other city amenities, such as fire and police stations, and health clinics as you normally would.

  3. 3

    Place residential zones near your elementary school and college.

  4. 4

    Place commercial zones near your residential zones. Traffic in sim city causes air pollution, so the shorter commute for Sims will reduce pollution levels.

  5. 5

    Monitor the RCI bar located on your toolbar. This shows the demand for various zone types. Hold off on building industry for as long as possible. Wait until the demand for "Industrial-HT" shows a positive value.

  6. 6

    Click the "budget" button on the toolbar, and select the tab for taxes. Raise the taxes for every industry type except for "high tech."

  7. 7

    Place industrial zones near your residential and commercial zones. Because other industry types are being heavily taxed, high tech industry will be built instead of pollution-generating industry.

Tips and warnings

  • You can lower an existing pollution problem by building a rail systems and placing bus stops. The more mass transit that is available for your Sims, the less traffic there will be to generate pollution.
  • If you get a high demand for industrial zones before high-tech industry becomes available, build the zones far away from your residential area. You can replace them once your city expands.

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