With the help of a robot, UCLA and Arizona State University researchers complete first on-site test of L.A.’s Cool Streets program

May 5, 2020

With the assistance of a street-smart robot named MaRTy, V. Kelly Turner (associate director of urban environment research at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs) and Ariane Middel (researcher at Arizona State University) completed the first on-site evaluation of Los Angeles’s Cool Streets program.

City workers apply a cooling paint on roads in Pacoima, part of Los Angeles’ strategy to combat climate change. Photo by Los Angeles Bureau of Street Services.

In a study published by the Environmental Research Letters, Turner and Middel reported that the reflective coating found on asphalt can actually elevate pedestrians’ exposure to heat. 

The Cool Streets program is one sustainability strategy outlined in Los Angeles’ 2019 Green New Deal and aims to test different cooling effects on neighborhoods.

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