Painting the Streets of Los Angeles in Bid to Fight Climate Change

Los Angeles city workers are painting their streets grey.  This is a bid to combat climate change and spur cooler summer weather in sunny LA LA Land. Like many other modern cities, Los Angeles, is encased in thousands of miles of asphalt.  80 and 95 percent of the sun’s rays are absorbed by dark-colored asphalt which heat up the entire area, not just the streets themselves.

The ‘cool pavement’ project

Canoga Park first tested the ‘cool pavement’ project back in May.  The lighter colour grey sealant prevents asphalt from retaining heat.  This lighter colour sealant is reflective and helps create cooler temperatures in urban neighbourhoods.

This special sealant has passed all state traction tests for wet surfaces and has shown to reduce street temperatures by up to 23 degrees Fahrenheit (approximately 5 degrees Celsius).  CoolSeal is applied like conventional asphalt sealcoats.  It helps protect and maintain the quality and longevity of the surface.  CoolSeal is a water-based, asphalt emulsion while most cool pavements on the market are polymer based.

The “heat island effect”

City surfaces absorb heat so that urban areas can be hotter than the surrounding rural areas.  This phenomenon is called the “heat island effect”.   Cooler neighbourhood climates are anticipated with lighter coloured streets.  This may lead to less expensive air conditioning bills for the local residents so there is both a consumer and environmental advantage.

Cost of CoolSeal

The mix of CoolSeal which is now being used to cover some of Los Angeles’ streets don’t come cheap.   There is a price tag of $40,000 per mile of pavement covered.  City officials hope to bring the cost of the project down as it progresses.  The benefits of this project could very well be worth the cost.

Reduce greenhouse gas emissions

The city of Los Angeles would like to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45% below 1990 levels before 2025.  CoolSeal is definitely a part of the plan.



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