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. 

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