Tree canopies and new pavement: LA officials try to keep streets cool

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This block of W. 54th Street and 5th Avenue in Hyde Park has been outfitted with cool pavement, new trees and shade for bus benches. It’s part of the City of LA’s project to cool down neighborhoods. Photo by Benjamin Gottlieb/KCRW

The City of Los Angeles expects the number of 95 degree days to double for many neighborhoods over the next couple of decades. Underserved communities will feel the impact of that temperature rise the most. To help adapt to the changing climate, city officials are rolling out a comprehensive plan to cool down the most paved parts of LA’s urban jungle. It includes planting more trees, building shade for bus benches, and painting asphalt streets with a “cool pavement” finish. Will these steps make a real impact?

Credits

Host:
Steve Chiotakis

Producers:
Christian Bordal, Jenna Kagel

Reporter:
Benjamin Gottlieb