What are cool roads and why do we need them?
On average our suburb is 6 degrees warmer than it should be. This is called 'heat island effect'. Of course, this problem isn’t unique to Chippendale – many cities and suburbs all over the world are too hot. These high temperatures are created by the absorption of heat from dark-coloured roads, roofs and other human-made surfaces.
This is shown in the thermal imaging photos of Chippendale taken by the City of Sydney in 2009. The scale moves from blue to red, where the darkest blue is less than 23 degrees and the deepest red is over 33 degrees. It's the road surfaces that stand out in this image. They consistently hit the top of the thermal scale over 33 degrees.
In Chippendale, 24% of our suburb is made up of road surfaces. Reducing road temperatures is an important strategy for cooling our suburb and our city. With cooler roads, residents and businesses are a step closer to making a difference through other initiatives such as green roofs, installation of heat-reflective roofs & building surfaces, tree planting and other energy efficiency measures. With lower heat levels, buildings are cooler and air conditioning usage lower. Saving the planet saves money at the same time.
So how do we cool our roads? The good news is it's quite straightforward:
- Upgrade the surfaces of our roads so that they reflect rather than absorb heat
- Increase tree cover through biodiverse tree planting schemes
By cooling our roads, we can achieve big improvements to everyone’s quality of life. These simple initiatives can:
- Save energy: costs are likely to drop by 5-10%
- Save lives: premature death from heat can raise mortality rates by between 25% and 45% on hot days
- Bring back moisture: this improves air quality and nourishes plant life
- Help nature flourish: by bringing temperatures down we encourage the biodiversity that our ecosystems need to function and flourish
Sustainable Chippendale has been advocating action to cool our roads since 2010. More information on the steps that can be taken to cool our suburbs can be found in Section 5 titled Getting Around & Section 4 Urban Heat Island Effect Mitigation from The Sustainable Communities Plan created in 2010.
Show your support for cool roads in our cities by sharing this page on Facebook or twitter
Wondering how you can cool your own street?
1 Download the app called, Snap, Send, Solve on itunes or on google play
2 Take photos of your street and send it to your local council with the message: Please make this road cool
3 Then post your photo and message on our facebook page
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT COOL ROADS SEND US A REQUEST BELOW....