Cool Surfaces and Shade Trees to Reduce Energy Use and Improve Air Quality in Urban Areas

This article, published in Elsevier in 2002, outlines how cool surfaces (cool roofs and cool pavements) and urban trees can have a substantial effect on urban air temperature and, hence, can reduce cooling-energy use and smog. Using a dozen metropolitan cities as case studies, this paper demonstrates an estimate of about 20% of the national cooling demand can be avoided through a large-scale implementation of heat-island mitigation measures. This amounts to 40 TWh/ year savings, worth over $4B per year by 2015, in cooling-electricity savings alone. Once the benefits of smog reduction are accounted for, the total savings could add up to over $10 billion per year.

Strategies (cool roofs, trees and cool pavements) are analyzed for potential benefit outcomes in energy consumption and air quality/smog.

Publication Date: 2001

Authors or Affiliated Users:

  • H. Akbari
  • M. Pomerantz
  • H. Taha

Related Organizations:

  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Best practice
  • Case study


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