Jump to main content or area navigation.

Contact Us

Heat Island Effect

Cool Pavements

Cool Pavements | Cool Roofs | Green Roofs | Heat Vulnerability Index | Trees and Vegetation | | All

State - LocalityInitiative TypeLink Exit EPATitle & DescriptionDate
Arizona - GilbertComprehensive Plan and Design GuidelinesChapter 7 - Environmental Planning Element, Goal 14 (PDF)


Cool Pavements Brochure
Gilbert General Plan - The "Environmental Planning Element" in the Gilbert, Arizona general plan lists mitigating heat islands as a core goal. Specific policies under the goal include: 1) developing criteria to evaluate development projects that contribute to the heat island effect and identify mitigation techniques; 2) seeking partnerships with other municipalities, educational institutions, utility companies, government entities, and other to promote heat island awareness among landowners, developers, engineers, and architects; 3) encouraging design concepts utilizing planned and engineered green space and urban forestry to maximize shading of paved areas and buildings; 4) promoting education and awareness of the public, designers and applicants for the development and use of materials and construction techniques to help mitigate the urban heat island effect; and 5) providing for a reduction of the stormwater retention requirements where a grading and drainage report demonstrates a reduced stormwater storage capacity results from the use of pervious pavements on a site. One step in implementing the plan involved the development of a brochure on the use of cool pavements to reduce the urban heat island effect.Active
Arizona - PhoenixResearch; Outreach and Education ProgramASU SMARTArizona State University Sustainable Materials and Renewable Technologies Program - The Arizona State University Sustainable Materials and Renewable Technologies (SMART) Program is a trans-disciplinary group of researchers, industries and governmental agencies from around the globe working in partnership to develop the next generation of urban materials and advanced biological and solar technologies an effort to support urbanization in a more sustainable manner. SMART researchers are developing the next generation of urban materials that aid in the mitigation of the urban heat island, reduce energy demand for mechanical cooling, and incorporate feedstocks diverted from waste streams.Active
Arizona - TucsonDemonstration ProjectCool Retrofit - Thomas O. Price Service CenterCity of Tucson's Administration Building - A demonstration project for the City of Tucson documented how a cool roof reduced temperatures inside and on the roof of the building and saved more than 400 million Btu annually in energy. A white elastomeric coating was installed over a 28,000-square foot (2,600 m2), unshaded metal roof on one of the city's administration buildings. Following the installation, energy savings were calculated at 50 to 65% of the building's cooling energy – an avoided energy cost of nearly $4,000 annually. In addition to measuring the effects of adding a cool roof, the project will also investigate cooler paving materials and more trees and vegetation in the parking lots surrounding the building.Completed
California - Chula VistaBuilding Standard / Energy Code; Green Building Program and Standards; Tree and Landscape Ordinance; Demonstration ProjectClimate Change Working Group – Climate Action PlanningBuilding Code; Demonstration Project; Green Building Program and Standards; Tree and Landscape Ordinance - The City of Chula Vista has identified 11 climate adaptation strategies, three of which directly address urban heat islands: they include the installation of cooler paving products, cooler roofing materials, and the incorporation of more shade trees. The city is sponsoring a demonstration project that will evaluate multiple reflective pavement technologies and develop implementation options based on these results. It is also working to amend its green building standards code to require cool roofs on all new residential developments, as well as developing a policy to require all municipal improvement projects and private parking lot development projects to incorporate a certain percentage of shade trees based on the development size.Active
California - MercedDemonstration ProjectSJVAPCD's Healthy Air Living (PDF)Light Pavement - UC Merced has implemented a new parking lot that uses light pavement. Gravel aggregate is used for car parking spaces, which reduces heat absorption because it is a more reflective surface. Additionally, it is more permeable than asphalt, which reduces stormwater runoff.Completed
California - SacramentoDemonstration ProjectPervious Concrete PavementsPermeable Parking Lot Demonstration - The Sacramento Cool Communities Program was a partner in a project to install a pervious concrete parking lot at Bannister Park in Fair Oaks in 2001 to enhance stormwater management and to reduce the urban heat-island effect. This parking lot is one of the first in the state to use this type of paving. Pervious concrete helps water infiltrate the soil by capturing rainwater in a network of voids and allowing it to percolate into the underlying soil. Pervious concrete can help reduce or eliminate the need for traditional stormwater management systems such as retention ponds and sewer tie-ins.Completed
California - San Joaquin ValleyResearchProvidence Engineering StudyEvaluation of Innovative Ozone Mitigation Strategies - The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (APCD) awarded Central California Ozone Study (CCOS) funds to Providence Engineering to evaluate urban heat island mitigation for air quality impact. Providence Engineering used the Mitigation Impact Screening Tool developed by the U.S. EPA to simulate the atmospheric effects of citywide pavement and roofing albedo changes for San Francisco, Sacramento, and Fresno. Providence Engineering also calculated the cost-benefit of these urban-scale changes using cost data for various construction materials.Completed
California - StatewideGreen Building Program and StandardsCALGreen (PDF)California Green Building Standards Code - The 2010 California Green Building Standards Code, referred to as CALGreen, went into effect on January 1, 2011. The Code covers residential and commercial buildings, and provides 52 nonresidential mandatory measures and an additional 130 provisions for optional use. There are several voluntary measures that relate to heat island mitigation, including shading, cool pavement, and cool roof technologies.Active
California - StatewideGreen Building Program and StandardsAB 296 Bill AnalysisAB 296 (Skinner) - AB 296 requires that the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) develop and publish a Cool Pavements Handbook that would outline a standard specification for cool pavements. Caltrans would also be required to conduct one or more cool pavement pilot projects and to report the cost information and results of the pilot projects to the California Legislature, and to incorporate references to the handbook in its Construction Manual. Caltrans would be encouraged to work with other state agencies in California, and authorized to enter into an agreement with federal agencies such as EPA, or the Department of Energy, for development of the handbook. The Building Standards Commission would be required, for the next triennial code adopted after January 1, 2015, to consider incorporating the specifications from the Cool Pavements Handbook into the California Green Building Standards Code.Active
California - StatewideOutreach and Education ProgramCalifornia Department of Public Health (PDF)

Climate Action for Health (PDF)
Integrating Public Health into Climate Action Planning - The California Department of Public Health has developed a guide to how health and climate change are related. The guide identifies strategies to reduce the urban heat island effect, a consequence of climate change. The strategies include developing well-vegetated urban parks, exploring the role of landscaping and green roofs, planting urban forests, and using light-colored building and pavement materials.Active
Georgia - AtlantaDemonstration ProjectCool PavementsAtlanta Pervious Pavement Demonstration - A porous concrete parking lot was constructed in downtown Atlanta at the corner of Pryor and Memorial and was dedicated by the mayor of Atlanta on June 6, 2002.Completed
Georgia - AtlantaOutreach and Education ProgramCool CommunitiesCool Communities Program - Cool Communities is a nonprofit program in Atlanta aimed at improving urban environments and conserving energy by promoting the use of lighter, reflective roofing and paving materials as well as planting shade trees.Active
Illinois - ChicagoDemonstration Project; ProcurementGreen Alleys


Green Alleys Handbook (PDF)
Chicago Green Alleys - Chicago, after the success of a demonstration project using permeable pavement, began a Green Alley initiative to use permeable pavement any time it needs to re-pave an alley. Through 2009, more than 100 Green Alleys have been installed and ultimately, almost 2,000 miles of alleyways will be made permeable. The Green Alley Handbook notes that "if all the alleys had a light, reflective surface (high albedo) that reflected heat energy, [they would stay] cool on hot days and thereby reducing the "urban heat island effect." The handbook also mentions the heat island reduction benefits of shade trees and green roofs.Active
Illinois - ChicagoDemonstration ProjectPermeable AlleysCool Paving Demonstration Alley - In the fall of 2001, the Chicago Department of Environment reconstructed an asphalt alley using a permeable system. Using a porous gravel structure the city was able to eliminate formerly chronic flooding without using the sewer system, while reducing the heat island effect by eliminating dark, heat absorbing surfaces. This paving can absorb 3 inches of rainfall per hour, allowing rainwater to soak into the ground and reducing polluted runoff and flooding.Completed
Illinois - ChicagoResearch; Demonstration Project; Building Code; Outreach and Education ProgramChicago Department of EnvironmentChicago Urban Heat Island Mitigation Program - The City of Chicago's Department of the Environment has been involved with reducing urban heat islands for several years. Some projects Chicago has conducted include constructing a porous pavement alley, revising the city's building code to require cool roofs, and launching a green roof program.Active
Illinois - EvanstonComprehensive Plan and Design GuidelinesDesign Guidelines for Planned Developments (PDF) City of Evanston Design Guidelines for Planned Developments - The City of Evanston, Illinois, includes permeable pavements in its assessment of green buildings.Active
Kansas - Kansas CityResearch; Demonstration Project; Outreach and Education ProgramParking Lots to ParksParking Lots to Parks Project - The Kansas City Sustainable Skylines Program developed the Parking Lots to Parks Project which works to curb the urban heat island effect and reduce stormwater runoff through sustainable parking lot design in Kansas City. The project provides tools to assist communities with sustainable parking lot planning and in developing design standards.Active
Kansas - Kansas CityUrban Forestry Program; Demonstration Project; Tree and Landscape Ordinance; Outreach and Education Program; Air Quality Requirement Sustainable Skylines - Kansas Kansas City Sustainable Skylines Initiative - Sustainable Skylines is a locally-led, EPA-supported, public-private partnership to reduce air emissions and promote sustainability in urban environments. Greater Kansas City was chosen as one of the first pilot communities to implement the Sustainable Skylines program. Projects in Kansas City include: an idling-reduction campaign, water conservation and strategic landscaping projects, converting parking lots to parks, solar demonstration projects, a community forum, and a diesel engine retrofits partnership. Active
Kansas - LeawoodDemonstration ProjectGreen Parking Lots Case Studies - I'Lan Park (PDF)I'Lan Park Pervious Concrete Lot - This parking lot was constructed in order to examine how pervious pavements perform in the freeze/thaw cycles of the region. The pervious concrete allows stormwater to flow out of the parking lot when the aggregate and pervious concrete become inundated. This project serves as a test project demonstrating that pervious pavement is a viable alternative for the storage and treatment of stormwater in this region.Completed
Kansas - LenexaDemonstration ProjectGreen Parking Lots Case Studies - Applebee's Support Center (PDF)Applebee's Support Center - The Applebee's Support Center incorporated a series of stormwater treatment features into the site. These include terraced, vegetated swales in the parking lots followed by sediment basins, a surface sand filter and a wetland immediately downstream. This combination of features treats the pavement runoff near the source, allowing oils, salts and sediments to be cleansed through onsite natural systems.Completed
Kansas - LenexaDemonstration ProjectGreen Parking Lots Case Studies - Lenexa Trailhead Porous Asphalt Lot (PDF)Lenexa Trailhead Porous Asphalt Lot - This porous asphalt parking lot was constructed to serve as the trailhead to the Coon Creek Trail in Lenexa. The porous asphalt helps with stormwater management as the material allows water to filter through the asphalt structure and into a gravel storage bed below. Water is held in the gravel and releases slowly into the soil below.Completed
Kansas - OlatheDemonstration ProjectGreen Parking Lots Case Studies - Oregon Trail Park Renovation (PDF)Oregon Trail Park Renovation - The Oregon Trail Park features a pervious concrete parking lot utilizing pervious concrete and gravel below the pavement. The pervious concrete allows the drainage to filter down into the pavement, slowing down, cooling and filtering the water before discharging the stormwater into a nearby pond. The pond has been renovated into an extended wet-detention basin to provide stormwater cleansing to the adjacent 36 acres.Completed
Maryland - MontgomeryIncentiveMontgomery RainScapes ProgramMontgomery RainScapes Rewards Rebate Program - The program offers financial incentives to property owners who implement measures to reduce stormwater pollution. There are nine measures that individuals can apply for, five of which have a heat island mitigation focus: rain gardens, increased urban tree canopy, incorporation of permeable pavers, pavement removal, and green roof installation.Active
Massachusetts - BostonBuilding Standard / Energy Code; Green Building Program and StandardsBoston Implements Green Building Zoning CodeGreen Building Zoning Code - Boston is decreasing carbon emissions associated with energy use in privately owned and operated buildings by implementing a Green Building Zoning Code. The zoning code requires all major construction projects greater than 50,000 square feet to adhere to the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification standards. Two of the points for this certification can be obtained by using urban heat island reduction strategies, one point coming from cool or green roofs and the other from non-roof strategies.Active
Michigan - DearbornDemonstration ProjectFord Motor Company's River Rouge PlantFord Motor Company's River Rouge Plant Green Roof and Porous Pavement - This 454,000 square foot green roof will mitigate the urban heat island effect and provide many environmental benefits for the truck assembly plant, such as reducing stormwater runoff, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving energy efficiency, improving air quality, and restoring soil; it also helped the plant achieve a LEED gold certification for the facility.Completed
Michigan - DetroitDemonstration Project Detroit Metro Airport Terminal Expansion Slag Cement Detroit Airport Expansion - The Detroit Metro Airport used 720,000 square feet (67,000 m2) of slag cement in an airport terminal expansion project. In this region, the local aggregate is susceptible to alkali-silica reaction, whereas slag resists that form of corrosion better than plain cement and is easier to place in hot weather. This approach increased the life expectancy of the paved surfaces, as well as allowed for the use of a high-albedo product.Completed
Minnesota - St. PaulDemonstration ProjectSt. Paul Fire Station Green Roof

Is Green Roof For St. Paul's New Fire Station Worth The Cost
Fire Department Station No.1 Green Roof and Porous Pavements - Fire Station No.1 received a 9,000-square-foot green roof on its parking garage in 2010. The green roof will help mitigate the urban heat island effect in St. Paul, reduce the city’s heating and cooling demands, and decrease stormwater management costs. There are 100 different types of native and low-maintenance plant species on the roof, a small pond, and a garden where firefighters grow their own vegetables. The project also includes porous pavements, and an underground cistern that collects rainwater to irrigate the green roof.Completed
Missouri - Kansas CityDemonstration ProjectGreen Parking Lots Case Studies - Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center (PDF)Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center - Bioswale landscaping is used in the Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center parking lot in order to remove pollutants from street and parking lot runoff and lessen the need for year-round maintenance. Curb breaks allow water to enter the bioswales. The project provides reduction of stormwater impacts on the community and nearby Brush Creek.Completed
Missouri - Kansas CityDemonstration ProjectGreen Parking Lots Case Studies - Jackson County Courthouse (PDF)Jackson County Courthouse - The Jackson County Courthouse parking lot employs a variety of stormwater runoff reduction techniques, including the installation of bioswales. The new design reroutes roof drains from the terrace roof and new shelter underground to the bioswales. Flat curbs were also used, which allow water to flow from the perimeter of the lot into planting zones, reducing runoff.Completed
Missouri - Kansas CityDemonstration ProjectGreen Parking Lots Case Studies - Vehicle Impound Facility (Kansas City, Mo.) (PDF)Vehicle Impound Facility - Pervious pavement could not be used for this project because of the high percentage of chemical sediment contamination that is released from impounded vehicles. As an alternative, a large bioswale was added to the facility to infiltrate the stormwater runoff. Median landscaping and plantings around the building were also added to curb the heat island effect.Completed
Missouri - Kansas CityTree and Landscape Ordinance; Resolution; Zoning CodeGreen Parking Lots Case Studies - Green Parking Ordinance (PDF)Green Parking Ordinance - Kansas City, Missouri's proposed parking ordinance contains several innovative planning techniques aimed at reducing the amount of parking and properly filtrating stormwater from parking lots. The ordinance allows for less parking where appropriate and increases shared parking options, especially in downtown areas or along transit stops. The ordinance also sets landscaping requirements for parking lots and provides options for pervious pavements to enhance stormwater management.Active
North Carolina - RaleighResearch Permeable Pavement Research

Permeable Interlocking Concrete Pavements
North Carolina State University Permeable Pavement Research - North Carolina State University has an active permeable pavement research program, as well as a specialized collaborative effort with the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI) and the Low Impact Development Center on permeable interlocking concrete pavements.Active
Texas - AustinGreen Building Program and Standards; Resolution; Comprehensive Plan and Design GuidelinesCity of Austin - Heat Island Mitigation Resolution


Austin Climate Protection Plan
Austin Heat Island Mitigation - In May 2001, the Austin City Council adopted a heat island mitigation resolution that committed the city manager to review recommendations for a variety of activities to diminish the city's heat island. In September of that year, the City Council awarded $1 million towards implementing the recommendations, which ranged from developing a cool roof strategy to increasing enforcement of the city's tree-saving ordinance. Austin's Climate Protection Plan incorporates heat island reduction through its green building and energy efficiency elements.Active
Texas - AustinGreen Building Program and StandardsAustin Energy Green Building

The Pedernales Lofts Case Study
The Pedernales Lofts - The Pedernales Lofts is the first multi-family development in Austin to receive five stars on the Green Building Multi-Family Rating. The rating system allows for one point if a heat island reduction strategy is used. The Pedernales Lofts used reflective roofing and pervious pavements, and was built on a former industrial brownfield. It also received S.M.A.R.T. Housing fee waivers – S.M.A.R.T. Housing rules ensure homes are Safe, Mixed-income, Accessible, Reasonably priced, and Transit-oriented. Only one star on the Green Building Multi-Family Rating system is needed to receive the S.M.A.R.T. housing fee waiver.Completed
Texas - DallasUrban Forestry Program; Green Building Program and Standards; Demonstration Project; Tree and Landscape Ordinance; Resolution; Zoning Code; Building Code; Outreach and Education Program; Comprehensive Plan and Design Guidelines; Incentive; Air Quality Requirement Sustainable Skylines - Dallas

Urban Heat Island Project
Dallas Sustainable Skylines Initiative - The Sustainable Skylines initiative is a three-year partnership between the City of Dallas, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTOG) to promote sustainability within the City via voluntary programs which emphasize air quality improvements. The initiative has identified the following categories of potential projects to initially perform together: green buildings project, creating a greenhouse gas strategy, green taxis project, off-road equipment replacements and retrofits, renewable energy/energy efficiency outreach program, and an urban heat island project. The goal of the urban heat island project is to develop and implement an urban heat island program for the City of Dallas that will both decrease heated surfaces and increase permeability of surfaces in the Central City and other areas of Dallas.Active
Texas - HoustonResearch; Outreach and Education Program; Demonstration Project; Air Quality RequirementHouston Urban Heat Island EffectCool Houston! - Cool Houston! is a program led by the Houston Advanced Research Center and is designed to reduce urban temperatures through use of cool technologies – reflective and green roofing, paving with light colored or porous materials, and a greatly expanded forest canopy.Active
Utah - Salt Lake CityOutreach and Education ProgramKool KidsUtah Kool Kids Program - The Utah State Energy Program, Utah Department of Natural Resources, and the National Energy Foundation worked together to create the Utah Kool Kids program to teach elementary and secondary age students about urban heat islands, their impacts on energy and air quality, and heat island reduction strategies. The program gives teachers lesson plans, overheads, test questions, experiments, and research tools to engage students.Active
Washington - OlympiaDemonstration ProjectDecatur Low Impact DevelopmentDecatur Street Demonstration Project - The City of Olympia, Washington used a grant of $352,000 from the state's Department of Ecology to re-pave a street in 2007 with permeable pavement as part of a demonstration of stormwater management techniques. Decatur Street drains into nearby Schneider Creek and was originally designed without any stormwater management infrastructure. The permeable pavement used on Decatur Street is designed with an infiltration rate of 0.15 inches per hour. The City of Olympia will monitor the pervious pavement to determine how well rainwater infiltrates into the ground and the amount of pollution that is filtered. The City will also monitor the construction and long-term maintenance costs of the re-paved street.Completed
Washington - PoulsboDemonstration Project City of Poulsbo Public Works Committee (PDF) Poulsbo Pervious Pavement - Poulsbo, Washington, used a $263,000 grant from the Washington Department of Ecology to pave 2,000 feet of sidewalk with pervious pavement, making it one of the largest pervious surface projects in the state.Completed

Jump to main content.