‘Cool pavement’ experiments help urban planners find ways to ease rising temperatures
One way in which cities in warmer regions are trying the reduce the impact of heat on residents is by the use of reflective coatings on street pavements. The coatings reflect sunlight rather than storing it and converting it into heat. Ariane Middel (pictured), an assistant professor in the School of Arts, Media and Engineering, and a colleague who is an urban planning researcher at UCLA are finding that the effectiveness of using reflective coatings and “cool pavements” can vary in different situations and are not a one-size-fits-all solution to heat mitigation. Middel says a combination of strategies, including urban infrastructure designed to provide more shading and development of heat-reducing technologies, will be needed to keep desert regions livable.