Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a pilot program Tuesday that will combine "cool pavement" with trees and shade canopies in an effort to decrease temperatures along city streets and walkways.
"Rising temperatures put our local communities on the front lines of the climate crisis," Garcetti said. "Cool Streets LA is about taking action in ways that will make a real and direct impact on people's daily lives."
Cool Streets LA is led by the city's Bureau of Street Services and combines several cooling strategies to help lower temperatures while adding shade. Much of the project involves the use of cool pavement, which is designed to lower the temperature of street surfaces. The city also plans to plant trees along streets, build bus benches with shade structures, expand cool rooftops, provide hydration stations and offer energy efficiency rebates to businesses through the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
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Six "cool-neighborhood projects" are slated to be complete by 2021.
The project unveiled Tuesday in South Los Angeles includes 14 new street trees in a single two-block stretch, 35,000 square feet of cool pavement and four bus benches with shade canopies.
"By implementing holistic, innovative and coordinated solutions such as applying cool pavement, planting trees, installing transit shelters and adding hydration stations, we are cooling our communities and making our streets safe, mobile and resilient," said Adel Hagekhalil, director of the Bureau of Street Services.
By December 2020, the bureau plans to install 750 new bus benches with shade umbrellas adjacent to new or existing street trees.
A design workshop led by the bureau and the mayor's Chief Design Officer Christopher Hawthorne will develop options for shade structures that can be added to bus benches and easily produced.
According to the mayor's office, the goals of Garcetti's Green New Deal include reducing urban/rural temperature differential by at least 1.7 degrees by 2025 and 3 degrees by 2035; ensuring every high-volume transit stop has access to cooling features by 2021; and installing cool pavement material on 250 lane miles of the city's streets.