#KeepLACool: Cool Streets Reduce Urban Heat Island Effect

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Word on the street is that cool streets are currently trending and will probably be trending until the end of the century. With heat projections from Dr. Alex Hall’s team at UCLA showing a triple increase in days over 95 degrees, the City of LA needs to embrace the diversity of urban cooling solutions available.

What are cool streets?
Cool streets are so named because they are literally cooler in temperature than traditional black asphalt streets. The material in cool pavement is similar to what’s used in sunscreen (not oxybenzone, the bad stuff you’ve been hearing about in relation to coral reef die-off!). Cool streets contain titanium dioxide, which reflects the sun’s energy back into the atmosphere as long-wave radiation.

Cool pavement can reflect up to 35% of solar energy, preventing this radiation from being absorbed and reemitted as heat into the surrounding urban area. In a city like Los Angeles, this can make a 20-40 degree Fahrenheit difference at ground level. Cool streets cost approximately $0.18 – $0.24 per square foot for one coat and $0.27 – $0.34 per square foot for two coats.

Presenting Path to Positive LA partner, Climate Resolve, has shepherd a pilot project with the LA Bureau of Street Services to install a cool street block—one block at a time—at each of the Council Districts in the City of LA.

How safe are cool streets?
Cool seal and pavements dry into a matte light gray color, which does not glare. The material has also passed the California skid test, making it just as safe to drive on as regular asphalt. At night, cool pavements reflect street lighting and car headlights, increasing visibility for drivers.

Why cool streets?
With endless miles of roads in Los Angeles, our existing infrastructure can be embraced as a vast arena of opportunity for mitigating urban heat. Cool streets can also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions; when the surrounding area is cooler, the demand for electricity for cooling will in turn decrease.

Plus, coupling cool streets and shade trees can help increase urban cooling. Trees provide shade and help maintain moisture in the soil. With a cooler environment surrounded by cool streets and shade-bearing trees, we Angelenos have the opportunity to thrive in a climate-smart city.

Posted on Tuesday, May 29th, 2018

Local Climate Leadership: Wendy Yu

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Tell us about your work on climate.
As a business development and strategy manager for ENGIE, I work with both the public and private sectors to find cost savings and achieve sustainability goals through energy efficiency and behind the meter renewable energy solutions.

What inspired you on your career path? And what or who inspires you now?
I traveled to China frequently throughout grade school to visit family and a few times for work. The smog and health impacts drove my interest towards clean energy. I am inspired by our CEO Isabelle Kocher and her leadership in revamping the company to focus on the energy revolution by divesting from fossil fuels and investing in renewable energy and cleantech.

What are the barriers you face in work — and what could make your job easier?
The biggest challenge is getting potential customers to see the (renewable energy powered) light and understand the financial, social, and environmental benefits of implementing clean energy.

A genie grants you two wishes that will help fight climate change. What do you ask for? The third wish is for anything you want (sky’s the limit!).

  1. Policies that solve for environmental externalities and help commercialize technologies that effectively capture carbon and other VOCs
  2. A solution for the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and smarter waste management (Cradle to Cradle)
  3. Healthy people and a healthy planet
Posted on Friday, May 25th, 2018

Webinar: Climate Change Attitudes in Los Angeles

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Please Join Us for a Webinar on “Climate Change Attitudes in Los Angeles” on Wednesday, May 9

A partnership of Climate Resolve and ecoAmerica, the Path to Positive Los Angeles initiative seeks to provide Angeleno leaders with social data and communications techniques to drive climate solutions in our region. ecoAmerica’s recently released American Climate Metrics Survey: Los Angeles for 2017 includes findings on local attitudes about climate change impacts and the will to act on solutions.

For example, the survey finds that 89% of Angelenos are personally concerned with climate change and 84% are observing the impacts of climate change, including more frequent and severe droughts.

Climate Resolve will be hosting a webinar on Wednesday, May 9 from 2-3:30 pm with featured speaker, Meighen Speiser, Chief Engagement Officer of ecoAmerica to delve into the survey and to discuss how we might use its findings in our communications on climate solutions, as well as survey how Los Angeles residents compare to the national averages when it comes to climate solutions and advocacy.

To register for the webinar, click here!

Posted on Thursday, April 26th, 2018
Path To Positive Los Angeles