Could Colored Pavement Cool Our Cities?

More than a third of the land in our cities is covered by black asphalt, an exemplary heat trapping surface and major contributor to the urban heat island effect. Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley Lab are studying "cool pavement" alternatives.

"To show that there are alternatives to hot asphalt, Lawrence Berkeley Lab, in California, currently has a showcase of 'cool pavements' that are designed to reflect between 30% to 50% of the energy, compared to about 5% for conventional surfaces," reports Ben Schiller. The alternative coatings are being displayed in Berkeley's parking lot for local government officials to see what products are currently on the market. 

"[W]ith more than a third of cities taken up with pavement, using cooler coatings could have a big impact on reducing air temperatures and improving air quality," notes Schiller. "Studies have shown that lighter surfaces, combined with more vegetation, could impede the formation of smog, and reduce energy costs--for example, from air conditioning."

Full Story: Using Different Colored Streets To Keep Our Cities Cool


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