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White painted streets
By Michelle Robertson
Los Angeles (US) has found a new way of keeping city streets cool by coating some of its pavements with a special white coloured coolant. Dark asphalt absorbs up to 95% of the sun's rays, which causes the surface temperatures on the roads in city centres to climb rapidly. This not only heats up the streets themselves but the entire surrounding area as well. This new method can reduce the temperature of the asphalt by up to 15 degrees Celsius because the sun’s rays are reflected rather than absorbed.
How are these white streets created? The white coating known as CoolSeal is sprayed thickly onto the roadway and then manually spread and smoothed out over the entire surface. This allows it to dry and harden quickly. In addition to making the streets and surrounding area significantly cooler, this process also saves energy. Buildings in the area do not need to use as much air conditioning, plus the higher reflectivity of white streets means less electricity is needed to illuminate streets and parking lots when the sun starts to set.