Case study: the cool pavement experiment
In 2014, as part of our efforts to reduce the urban heat island effect within the City of Sydney, we installed a section of pale coloured pavement on Myrtle Street, Chippendale.
We used a newly developed material called Ascrete, which is essentially a mixture of asphalt and concrete and has a light grey colour.
We collected data before and after the cool pavement was installed, using a nearby weather monitoring station as well as from community volunteers who used handheld thermometers.
What we learned:
- The cool pavement in Myrtle Street brought minor improvements to ambient and surface temperature
- The gains in temperature reduction weren’t significant enough to outweigh the additional costs and durability concerns.
As a result, the City decided that colouring road pavements a pale colour to reduce the urban heat island effect is not a cost-effective strategy. Other heat reduction measure such as installing cool roofs and planting trees [Download below: Cooling Sydney PDF] can help reduce the urban heat island effect [Link: urban heat page] in our city.