Eight neighborhoods will receive applications of cool pavements and new street trees
LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti today kicked off the next phase of his ‘Cool Streets L.A.’ program, an initiative that will bring 200 blocks of cool pavement and nearly 2,000 new trees to eight neighborhoods across Los Angeles’ hottest residential areas.
“The skyrocketing temperatures on our streets is an equity issue that puts local communities on the front line of the climate crisis,” said Mayor Garcetti. “Our hottest and most vulnerable neighborhoods are our top priority when it comes to climate action, and this program is about taking action in ways that will make a direct impact on people’s daily lives.”
Cool Neighborhoods is the next phase of Mayor Garcetti’s Cool Streets LA program he launched in 2019 to combine several cooling strategies to help lower temperatures and add shade in L.A.’s hottest and most vulnerable communities. The new iteration of the program will bring over 60 miles of cool pavement and nearly 2,000 trees to eight neighborhoods, including Pico Union; Westlake South; North Hollywood; Canoga Park; Sylmar; Vermont Square; South Central; and Boyle Heights.
The announcement was made in North Hollywood, which received 13.4 lane miles of cool pavement — the single largest application in city history. Research has shown that cool pavement reduces ambient temperatures by reflecting more sunlight and absorbing less heat during the day. Studies have also shown that cool pavement has the greatest impact when paired with new trees.
“The Cool Pavement Neighborhood Program links innovative technology with nature to create vibrant urban communities across Los Angeles,” said Councilmember Paul Krekorian. “As with the initiative to transition Los Angeles to 100 percent clean energy by 2035, this program imagines a healthier future for our children and grandchildren. I am delighted that the Bureau of Street Services chose to launch it in my council district.”
“Every Valley resident knows just how hot our region gets and, from growing our urban tree canopy to expanding the Cool Pavement program, it’s imperative to keep embracing solutions to combat the heat island effect,” said Councilmember Bob Blumenfield, Chair of the Public Works Committee. “I was proud to bring the first ‘Cool Street’ to my district in 2017 and my hope is that as more and more streets get this treatment, LA will soon be the world's first ‘Cool City.”
The first phase of Cool Streets LA was designed to advance the goals of Mayor Garcetti’s Green New Deal by piloting 10 cool streets projects by 2025. The cooling impacts in Cool Streets LA will enable the City to meet a number of additional goals set forth in Mayor Garcetti’s Green New Deal, such as: reducing urban/rural temperature differential by at least 1.7 degrees by 2025 and 3 degrees by 2035; increasing tree canopy in areas of greatest need by at least 50% by 2028; and installing cool pavement material on 250 lane miles of the City’s streets. Mayor Garcetti also helped spearhead an ordinance that requires all new roofs built after 2020 to be cool roofs, which help lower the ambient temperature of city streets.