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."
Indiana Once Again Considering Ban on Dedicated Transit Lanes
The proposed legislation would impact the construction of planned IndyGo Blue Line, the third phase of the city’s bus rapid transit system.
4 Ways to Use AI in Urban Planning and City Design
With the ability to predict trends, engage citizens, enhance resource allocation, and guide decision-making, artificial intelligence has the potential to serve as planners’ very own multi-tool.
LA’s ‘Spongy’ Infrastructure Captured Almost 9 Billion Gallons of Water
The city is turning away from stormwater management practices that shuttle water to the ocean, building infrastructure that collects and directs it underground instead.
An Affordable Housing Model for Indigenous Americans
Indigenous people make up a disproportionately high percentage of the unhoused population, but many programs designed to assist them don’t reach those most in need.
Oregon Bill Would Ban E-Bikes for Riders Under 16
State lawmakers seek to change Oregon e-bike laws following the death of a 15-year old last summer.
Northeastern Waterways More Polluted After Wet Year
Intense rains washed more runoff into local bodies of water, while warmer temperatures contributed to the growth of an invasive bloom.
Tufts University Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning
City of Grand Forks, North Dakota
HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research
City of Birmingham, Alabama
City of Laramie, Wyoming
Colorado Department of Local Affairs
This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.