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One city is fighting climate change by painting its streets

One city is fighting climate change by painting its streets


Los Angeles is fighting climate one street at a time.

The California city is covering its pavement with a thin gray coating called CoolSeal.

These streets will reflect more heat than they absorb.
Paul Gomez, L.A. City Dept. of Public Works

"The temperature is very hot here," says Paul Gomez with the L.A. City Department of Public Works. "We get very warm temperature, especially in the summer. We're just looking at ways to try and reduce the temperature in the city."

CoolSeal is meant to help combat the "Heat Island Effect," built-up areas that can be 1.8 to 5.4ยบ F hotter than nearby rural areas, according to the EPA.

"These streets will reflect more heat than they absorb, which hopefully will cool the surrounding areas in the neighborhoods."

L.A. is the first city in California to try the technology. The coating is supposed to make CoolSeal streets 10 degrees cooler than surrounding areas.

The city has painted 14 small stretches throughout L.A. as part of a pilot project.

Each stretch costs about $10,000 to coat, according to the city. The manufacturer of CoolSeal estimates that it's between $25,000 and $40,000 to coat one mile. Some forums estimate that the cost of a "normal" slurry seal street is between $15,000 and $30,000 but we were unable to verify that figure.

This fall, city officials will decide whether or not the treatment is effective enough to expand it to other streets in L.A.

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Humans are turning the planet into a mountain of cheap plastic garbage

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