The city of Los Angeles plans to fight climate change and global warming by painting streets and sidewalks white, hoping the “cooler” color will help offset the effects of urban “heat islands”.
According to Fox News, the LA Street Services agency unveiled the project last May, with initial tests showing the color-change could reduce temperatures by nearly 10 degrees. The technique uses a product called ‘CoolSeal’ to apply a thin, gray coat to roads and other surfaces.
“CoolSeal is applied like conventional sealcoats to asphalt surfaces to protect and maintain the quality and longevity of the surface,” writes the company’s website. “While most cool pavements on the market are polymer based, CoolSeal is a water-based, asphalt emulsion.”
“Heat islands occur on the surface and in the atmosphere,” according to the EPA. “On a hot, sunny summer day, the sun can heat dry, exposed urban surfaces, such as roofs and pavement, to temperatures 50–90°F hotter than the air.”
The climate fight comes with a steep price tag, with the product and labor costs expected to reach upwards of $40,000 per mile.