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Cities Skyline 2: How to Reduce Every Type of Pollution

Increase the health of your city by reducing pollution in Cities Skyline 2!

Residents usually don’t like living in areas that are filled with pollution, which presents a tricky problem when building the city. So, here’s how to reduce pollution in Cities Skyline 2.

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How to Reduce All Types of Pollution in Cities Skyline 2

The trick to reducing pollution relies on where you build industries and how you get energy for your city.

There are several types of pollution in Cities: Skylines 2: ground pollution, water pollution, and noise pollution. The trick to reducing pollution relies on a few key factors, including where you build industries and commercial shops, how you get energy for your city, how much you rely on your own trash services, and how your city is planned.

How to Check Pollution Levels

At the top left of your screen, there’s an “i” in a circle. Click this for Info Views, and from there, you can view each type of pollution on the map. This lets you see which areas are having problems with each type of pollution one by one. With this view, you get a map legend that shows you which color is high pollution and which is low. Buildings that are sources of that pollution type are colored with the high pollution color. However, if you have buildings reducing that pollution, such as a Water Treatment Plant, then they’ll be colored with the low pollution color.

How to Reduce Ground and Water Pollution

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Ground Pollution in Cities Skyline 2 comes from sources like fossil fuels, power plants that aren’t using green energy, garbage build-up (having garbage go uncollected), and normal industrial zones. Water pollution primarily comes from sewage outlets.

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Unfortunately, you don’t get any options to flat-out remove pollution. The most you can do is design your city with the intention of keeping it at a minimum. Then, work on identifying your polluters and remove them so that the pollution can decrease naturally over time.

As you do this, work toward using green options power options like wind and solar power, or reducing garbage waste with recycling centers. However, keep in mind that green power options produce less energy. So, you’ll need to build more of them, which can get expensive.

Eventually, you can invest in an Industrial Waste Processing Site, which reduces ground pollution by 15%. In the meantime, keep your garbage services funded to avoid build-up and use green options where you can.

Since water pollution is connected to ground pollution, you also need to monitor the water flow and install sewage pipes downstream from any water utilities you have placed. And, of course, Wastewater Treatment Plants help here.

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How to Reduce Noise Pollution

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The other two forms of pollution you have to manage are Industry and Noise. I try to tackle these at the same time since Noise pollution stems from Industry. However, commercial zones with busy shops can also contribute to noise pollution. The best thing to do is keep Industry and Residential areas separated to minimize the effect that industrial and noise pollution have on residents, with one effect being lower happiness from noise pollution.

Also, plant many trees. Trees help with noise pollution, as do electric buses and banning heavy traffic since roads and traffic increase noise pollution. It also seems that low-density is more susceptible to noise pollution, so you might want to focus on building medium and high-density residential zones near industrial and commercial areas, which also helps the Not Enough Customers issue. You’ll also want to know which road types you’re using in each zone to keep noise pollution to a minimum.

How to Reduce Air Pollution

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Air Pollution is one of the trickiest types to reduce. A few big components for it include:

  • Using Green Energy Sources (Wind Turbines are a great early game option)
  • Limiting heavy traffic
  • Limiting Industrial Zones
  • Placing Industrial Zones downwind from Residential Zones

To find the wind direction, I usually grab a Wind Turbine because it brings up the wind direction arrows on the map. The Air Pollution Info View also brings up the direction arrows. When you have more residents, you can switch from industry to commercial business and offices. This means your economy can still grow and lets you demolish your Industrial Zones over time.

Green Option Buildings and Prices

A lot of green options are unlocked with development points, which you earn when your city levels up. Then, the buildings you developed are available in your options. However, they often come with a high price tag.

  • Energy Options:
    • Wind Turbine – $25,000
    • Solar Power Plant – $1,500,000
    • Hydroelectric Power Plant – $1,575,000
    • Nuclear Power Plant – $5,000,000
  • Water Options:
    • Wastewater Treatment Plant – $480,000
  • Ground Waste Options:
    • Industrial Waste Processing Site (Reduces Ground Pollution by 15%) – $6,360,000

And that’s how to reduce pollution in Cities Skyline 2. When you start out, it’s hard to avoid Ground Pollution in particular. But keep up on upgrading systems like sewage and educate your residents so they become more efficient at handling waste and garbage. From here, check our CS2 guides hub for more topics like how to set up Forestry Industry and how to Connect Sewer Pipes.

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Melissa Sarnowski
Melissa Sarnowski has been working as a gaming writer professionally for two years, having been at GameSkinny for over a year now as a horror beat writer. She has an English degree from University of Wisconsin - Madison. While she focuses on all things horror, she also enjoys cozy games, MMOs like FFXIV and WoW, and any and everything in between.