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San Antonio trying cools streets with new pavement

Words by Tess Becker

City streets in the summer can be incredibly hot because of the way that pavement absorbs and holds heat. In places like the Arizona neighborhood of Dunbar Springs, people are working to help alleviate the heat through means like a community forest for shade. 

Now in San Antonio, Texas, the city is working to implement a new pavement that is a lot cooler to address the same issue.

The program called the Cool Pavement Pilot Program, will see the city testing different cool pavement products to see which ones are best at reflecting more sunlight and absorbing less heat. They will try 12 different products to alleviate the heat.

A big part of the program is equity concerns aiming to improve historically underrepresented communities.

“Which neighborhoods are impacted by heat the most? Which areas in San Antonio were the hottest, and which streets have the lower pavement conditions?” said Murray Myers, senior sustainability manager for the city.

The work is already underway and should help cool surrounding areas while ideally lowering energy prices as well.

“You have to use cool pavement, trees, green spaces, cool roofs. And in combination, we're hoping to see great benefits for neighborhoods,” said Myers. “(What) we hope to see from this pilot is a difference of surface temperature of about 10 to 15 degrees.”

Charity check-in

At Smiley Movement, we like to elevate the work of charities across the world. Here are three charities whose causes align with the themes in this article.

Beacon Food Forest. This is one of the largest food forests in the country. Find out more and support them here

Cultural Survival. They are an indigenous-led nonprofit focused on empowering indigenous Americans and helping the planet. Find out more

American Forest’s. A conservation organization focused on preserving and protecting American forests. Support them here.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Partners of the Goals.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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