Cool Roadways Partnership to Reduce Urban Heat

Credit: LA Bureau of Street Services

Excessive Heat is a Major Urban Challenge: The need to protect people from extreme heat is one of the key resilience and sustainability challenges of the 21st Century. Rising urban temperatures have negative implications for nearly every aspect of urban life

Roadways Need to be Part of Urban Cooling Strategies: Successfully implementing measures to cool urban air temperatures could save lives, improve air quality, enhance labor and educational productivity, and save energy. There are a variety of passive cooling solutions available today but, currently, there is not a scalable solution to address the heat from the single largest portion of our urban space – pavements. Pavement makes up about one third of the surface area of an average city — roadways, parking lots, sidewalks — and the vast majority of those are absorbing a lot of solar energy and heating our cities.  The need, and the opportunity, are greatest in low-income and marginalized communities which tend to have more pavement and roadways than wealthier areas. Increasingly, cities are seeking ways for pavement to contribute to their climate, sustainability, and resiliency goals — including major cool pavement pilots in Phoenix and Los Angeles.

Cool Roadways Partnership Forms to Spur Innovation and Implementation: Faced with long-term projections of rising urban temperatures, growing urban heat islands, and an increased frequency of dangerous heat waves, city leaders are partnering to explore the development of solar reflective, “cool” roadway solutions that can be smoothly integrated into municipal pavement management practices to provide a sustainable, cost-effective way to reduce air temperatures and increase resilience in urban environment.  The cities (and other jurisdictions/participants) created a request for interest that expresses their desire for viable cool roadway solutions, highlights the market potential (billions of dollars and tens of thousands of lane miles over the next decade), and engages industry to work together to innovate (a model that has worked well in pilots so far).

Participants (as of August 2020)

Berkeley, CA
Cincinnatti, OH
Davis, CA
Elk Grove, CA
Jackson, MS
Las Cruces, NM
Los Angeles, CA
Phoenix, AZ
Philadelphia, PA
Sacramento, CA
San Antonio, TX
San Antonio Water District, TX
Tucson, AZ

Founding Sponsor

Interested in signing the RFI?  Contact Kurt Shickman at Kurt (at)

Download the RFI — Cool Pavement RFI – V1 6_16_20