Also: How large corporations took over single-family homes, and will the Supreme Court strike down inclusionary zoning?
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What We’re Following
Mirror, mirror on the road: Covering blacktop with white paint to beat the heat makes intuitive sense: Dark surfaces absorb heat from sunlight, while lighter colors reflect more of that light. With plenty of asphalt to go around, Los Angeles is deploying white paint known as “cool pavement” with zeal to combat the urban heat island effect. But there’s a little problem with painting the street white: It may be reflecting heat back onto people.
The revelation comes from new research at UCLA that found the reflective surfaces could actually make pedestrians feel 7 degrees hotter on a typical L.A. summer day. The results, provided exclusively to CityLab in advance of their publication, are the first known real-world, empirical assessments of how cool pavements affect the human body. But they likely won’t be the last assessment. The finding hasn’t deterred L.A. from continuing the program, and there is lots more to study, from the benefits of painted roofs rather than roads, to how new trees might mitigate the pavement’s warming effect. On CityLab: The Problem With ‘Cool Pavements’: They Make People Hot
More on CityLab
What We’re Reading
Can better parks fight climate change? (Curbed)
Trump has been obsessed with alligator moats for 35 years (New York)
How Medellín, Colombia, reinvented itself for a sustainable future (Retro Report)
Why are cities filled with metal men on horseback? (JSTOR Daily)
People tell their stories about getting hit by cars (New York Times)