Planning & Environment

Mitigation of Heat Islands

In the science of global warming, there is a term I have learned called, "Heat Island." It is where the large areas of dark surfaces, and heat generating facilities in cities creates a bubble of artificially high temperature; an island of heat. As reported in the article located at the link below, there is a viable solution coming out of Los Angeles. They are coating their streets in a light colored asphalt based sealant (close to white). Since the color white is created by the reflection of all visible electromagnetic wavelengths, a white road will be significantly cooler. The color black absorbs all visible wavelengths, therefore, a black roadway becomes hotter as it absorbs all that solar energy. It then slowly radiates it back off as infrared radiation. In a city with a significant amount of dark pavement, this will raise the temperature of the surrounding air and create what is called the heat island.


I suggest NJDOT research this concept of light colored roadways. You can read the article at the below link. In their preliminary tests the temperature of the lighter roads was reduced by a significant margin.



8 votes
Idea No. 64