Phoenix has sealed 100 miles of streets with cool pavement so far

By Mark Brodie
Published: Monday, August 21, 2023 - 10:27am

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Ariane Middel pulling "Marty," a biometeorological garden cart at ASU
Deanna Dent
Ariane Middel pulling "Marty," a biometeorological garden cart at ASU's Shade Lab.

Earlier this summer, Phoenix celebrated the 100th mile of city streets that’ve gotten a cool pavement seal coat.

Since 2020, dozens of neighborhoods across Phoenix have gotten cool pavement, which is a kind of light gray or blue color on the roads. The city says it plans to apply cool pavement to 118 miles of roadways by the end of this year.

The idea with cool pavement is that since it’s a lighter color than traditional blacktop, it reflects more of the sunlight, which keeps the roads cooler. Data from Arizona State University researchers during a one-year pilot project found average surface temperatures on cool pavement were up to 12 degrees Fahrenheit lower than on traditional asphalt at noon and in the afternoon. 

Marty, ASU Shade Lab
Deanna Dent
Marty, ASU Shade Lab's biometeorological garden cart, measures heat when walking outdoors.

Ariane Middel is an urban climatologist and associate professor in the School of Arts, Media and Engineering at ASU. The Show spoke with her about what it means to her that the city of Phoenix has completed 100 mles of the project.

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