On November 6th, I gave a talk at the annual gathering of the Northern California Chapter of the American Public Works Association. The talk was titled, “Keeping you Communities Cool: Tools for Reducing Urban Heat”. It started with an introduction to the growing problem of urban heat and the scientific fundamentals behind cool materials. Because the audience was composed primarily of representatives from municipal agencies, many of them focused on stormwater management and transportation, I focused largely on cool pavements, and only touched briefly on cool roofs and shade trees. The bulk of the presentation focused on the benefits that can be derived from large scale introduction of cool pavements and the range of pavement options that are available.
The audience was remarkably engaged and we were able to have a good discussion about the trade-offs between some of the different pavement options, the state of the science, and some of the challenges of advancing the use of cool pavements and shade trees when working in municipal public works departments. One example is that the public tends to like having black paved surfaces because it makes them feel as though their roads and parking lots are new and in good repair!
My presentation is available on the Knowledge Base: