In a bid to combat climate change and spur cooler summer weather, Los Angeles city workers are painting their streets grey.
The ‘cool pavement’ project, which was first tested in Canoga Park back in May, prevents asphalt from retaining heat by using reflective gray sealant to create cooler temperatures in urban neighborhoods.
After ensuring that the sealant passed all state traction tests for wet surfaces, the mixture was shown to reduce street temperatures by up to 23 degrees.
This also combats the “heat island effect”: a phenomenon that occurs when city surfaces absorb heat so that urban areas can be hotter than the surrounding rural areas. Since the lighter streets will create a cooler neighborhood climate, residents are also expected to spend less money on air conditioning, which will benefit both the consumer and the environment.
“It’s awesome. It’s very cool — both literally and figuratively,” said Councilman Bob Blumenfield, according to the LA Daily News. “The downside: we won’t be able to fry eggs on the streets.”
The CoolSeal mixture that is currently being used to cover the streets comes with a hefty price tag of $40,000 per mile, but city officials hope to find ways to bring the cost down as the project progresses. Plus, the benefits could be priceless.
The initiative is also being utilized as part of the city’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45% below 1990 levels before 2025.
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