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Phoenix has sealed 100 miles of streets with cool pavement so far

Earlier this summer, Phoenix celebrated the 100th mile of city streets that’ve gotten a cool pavement seal coat.

Since 2020, dozens of neighborhoods across Phoenix have gotten cool pavement, which is a kind of light gray or blue color on the roads. The city says it plans to apply cool pavement to 118 miles of roadways by the end of this year.

The idea with cool pavement is that since it’s a lighter color than traditional blacktop, it reflects more of the sunlight, which keeps the roads cooler. Data from Arizona State University researchers during a one-year pilot project found average surface temperatures on cool pavement were up to 12 degrees Fahrenheit lower than on traditional asphalt at noon and in the afternoon. 

Ariane Middel is an urban climatologist and associate professor in the School of Arts, Media and Engineering at ASU. The Show spoke with her about what it means to her that the city of Phoenix has completed 100 mles of the project.

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Mark Brodie is a co-host of The Show, KJZZ’s locally produced news magazine. Since starting at KJZZ in 2002, Brodie has been a host, reporter and producer, including several years covering the Arizona Legislature, based at the Capitol.