Los Angeles Experiments with Cooler Pavement to help with Rising Temperatures
Los Angeles is experimenting with a light reflecting sludge that is poured over pavement to try and cool down the city. Scientists believe that temperatures in Los Angeles will increase nearly 4 degrees Fahrenheit by midcentury if greenhouse gas emissions keep increasing. Los Angeles is already almost 6 degrees hotter than surrounding rural areas due to numerous heat-absorbing buildings. To help cool down the city, Mayor Eric Garcetti pledged to try and cut the temperature difference by at least half, which will reduce land surface temperatures 3 degrees by 2035. Kurt Shickman, director of the nonprofit Global Cool Cities Alliance, stated the following regarding Los Angeles’ plan,
L.A. is really leading the way right now. No one has done reflective cool pavements on this scale.
The Bureau of Street Services began spreading the new pavement in the summer of 2015 and over the last two years it has been installed on 15 residential blocks scattered from Northridge to Harbor City. Mayor Garcetti’s goal is to cover approximately 1,500 of the most heat-stricken blocks over the next 10 years. The scale of Los Angeles’s cool-pavement project is relatively small, because 1,500 blocks represent only about two percent of the approximately 70,000 city blocks in the city. We will have to wait and see if the new pavement actually cools down the streets, as researchers continue to study its impact, which could lead the way for other cities to do the same.