September 13, 2023

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Cool Pavement Is Living Up to Its Name (Reasons to be Cheerful, 9/12/23)

As another summer of record-breaking heat winds down, some cooler news: Cool pavement -- which has a reflective coating meant to mitigate urban heat, as Michaela Haas wrote about for us in 2021 -- is delivering on its promise in Los Angeles. That's according to preliminary results for the neighborhood of Pacoima, site of the city's first community-wide cool pavement effort.

The first eight months of data show that ambient air temperatures in Pacoima two meters above ground were an average of 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit cooler on sunny days, and up to 3.5 degrees cooler during extreme heat, compared to a neighboring area without cool pavement. The pavement itself averaged 10 degrees cooler on sunny days. 

The anecdotal evidence is solid, too: Residents report that their tires are wearing less quickly, their shoes don't stick to the pavement as much -- and parents say they're more comfortable letting their kids play outside.