How to stay cool during summer: Covering Heat Island Effects with Heather Murphy!

Could this simple trick change Phoenix summers forever?

Cool Pavement Image Showing Traditional Asphalt side by side

Cool Pavement Image Showing Traditional Asphalt side by side

Zahrah Asghar

Have you ever walked on the pavement with your bare feet during summer and it felt like lava? Ever wonder why Phoenix pavement is so hot?

Well the Cool Pavement Program can help you with that! With a non-toxic thin layer of asphalt material mixed with polymers on the roads this summer would be a whole lot cooler!

Asphalt collects and retains heat during the day and releases it at night. Phoenix is among several cities that are experiencing the urban ‘heat island’ effect due to the retention of heat within the built environment. US Environmental Protection Agency data shows the difference in nighttime temperatures in heat island areas can be as much as 22 degrees hotter than temperatures measured outside the heat island.

They estimate the application and study will total about 3.3 million. There is an area not too far from North High School where we applied it. It’s between Van Buren Street and Roosevelt Street from 12th to 16th Street. There is a photo below showing it applied.

If you are wondering if it will be applied in your neighborhood then, yes! And, no. Before making it final in Arizona they want to test the results on the pilot program. They also have to think about the cost before they just start applying it all over every street. City of Phoenix says, “While the cool pavement material is more costly than the seal coating materials we usually use, results from other cities suggest the material is effective and longer lasting than traditional asphalt seal coats.”

If the tests seem accurate enough to move forward with this program then you should see the use of the cool pavement in your neighborhood streets soon! The cool pavement will first be applied in streets that need it most such as places with a lot of heat coming towards it and barely and shade covering it.

I interviewed someone from the City of Phoenix for further information about this topic. Communications & Public Engagement Heather Murphy answers a few questions below about the Cool Pavement Program!

If you are interested in this then follow the link below to read more on our whole interview!