Aberdeen City Council is to investigate introducing low-vehicle emission zones throughout the city after passing its budget.
Councillors approved the Labour-led administration’s budget for 2017/18 by 21 votes to 15.
And members agreed to instruct the chief executive to prepare a business case on the feasibility of city-wide low emission zones.
Investigations into the £10 million scheme – which would be a first for Scotland – are at an early stage but vehicles could be banned on the basis of weight or whether they use diesel.
Streets that could fall under the scheme include Wellington Road, Union Street and the Market Street/harbour area – three of Aberdeen’s most polluted roads.
Finance convener Willie Young said: “This would be Aberdeen leading from the front, which is what this administration has done over the last five years.
“We know we have got problems with air quality.
“We are trying to make sure this city is greener and cleaner. We think it’s something that we should do, it will save lives.”
The local authority had to make a raft of cuts after being left with a £17.3m black hole.
The finance settlement from the Scottish Government included a £13m cut for the council.
For the first time in nine years, councils had the ability to raise council tax by up to 3% but they voted against an increase.
The Scottish Government has already legislated for a rise of between 7.5% to 22.5% for council tax bands E to H.
Council leader Jenny Laing said they did not want to increase council tax as it was “vital” in a time of “economic challenge” to protect the people of Aberdeen.
She added: “Aberdeen remains the lowest funded local authority in Scotland.
“This is an undeniable fact but, despite this, we remain the nation’s ‘cash cow’ – paying more income, council and business taxes than anywhere else. This river of money flows down to the Central Belt but we see very little in return.”
The council leader said her budget would see public toilets stay open, keep transport marshals on the streets and parking charges remain the same.
Plans to give £20,000 to Aberdeen Inspired towards a night-time economy manager were also approved, along with £976,000 to expand the number of pupil support assistants in schools.
Deputy leader of the council Marie Boulton said the new role would assist the economy which has been “badly affected” by the downturn.
The agreed budget also opens up voluntary severance or early retirement to council employees.
It is thought up to 200 jobs could be lost through this move – saving the local authority £4m. Further funds will be generated by renting out the Marischal College quad for private events and hiring more council tax collectors to chase up non-payers.
Cllr Laing said: “With modernisation and efficiency comes the potential to deliver services with fewer people.
“It must be stressed that not all who volunteer will be accepted – decisions will be taken on the merits of each individual and have to be balanced against the needs of the member of staff and the needs of business.”
SNP group leader Stephen Flynn introduced his party’s proposed budget as one of “education, community and prosperity”.
Their proposals – which were rejected – included a £1m attainment fund for schools in the city which Cllr Flynn said would build on the £2.75m already allocated by the Scottish Government. A total of £210,000 was also put forward by the group to help halve the rent of 50 teachers in the North-east for one year in a bid to tackle vacancies.
SNP councillors had also proposed introducing a £1 parking scheme on Mondays to Thursdays after 5pm.
The Liberal Democrat group put forward proposals in their budget – which was also rejected – including a £2.5m education fund, additional investment of £2m in road and pavement repairs and feasibility studies into dualling the Lang Stracht and into the transfer of Hazlehead Swimming Pool to community management.