Cool paving materials helps lower city temperatures, study finds
Using cool materials to construct roads and walkways is an effective way of lowering urban temperatures to make cities more comfortable in hot weather, according to a new study. The research found surface temperatures were reduced by 12°C and ambient temperatures were reduced by 1.9°C after cool pavements were installed in a city park in Greece. Cities are known to exhibit the urban heat island effect, in which urban temperatures are higher than those of the surrounding rural areas. The phenomenon is created through a combination of heat released from human activities, such as air conditioning and traffic, in addition to decreased air flow and increased heat absorption by buildings, roads and other structures. In the future, climate change is likely to exacerbate the heat island effect with more frequent and extreme heat waves.
One way to reduce the effects of the urban heat island is to use materials that minimise the absorption of solar radiation. Advanced materials that are highly reflective to the sun’s radiation and readily emit heat can be used on buildings and covered spaces. This study assessed the impact of replacing conventional pavements with cool materials in a large city park in Athens, Greece.
The park’s microclimate is influenced by the sea on one side and by heavy traffic on a main road to the south. About 4500 m2 of existing pavement, made of asphalt, concrete and dark paving materials, has been replaced with cool paving surfaces as part of park renovations.
Article continues at Cool Paving.
Paving image via Wikipedia.