The Future of Cooler Streetscapes

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Certification Maintenance

CM | 1

Learning Outcomes

  • Assess the built environment's impacts on the heat-island effect and pedestrian comfort.
  • Examine design strategies that create a more livable, usable, and tolerable street environment.
  • Use proven guidelines to mitigate climate change and positively impact human health and wellness.

Course Details

Cool-Streets Guidelines were developed to integrate climate-positive interventions creatively and effectively into the urban context of downtown Silver Spring, Maryland. Their development brought together a comprehensive team of planners, urban designers, landscape architects, and environmental analysts. The team implemented a data-driven approach that includes an analysis of surface materials, textures, and colors and their radiating and/or absorption rates.

Presenters identify surface material options with the lowest rates of radiating heat emissions and the right-of-way mitigation practices necessary for cooler streetscapes. They share how cooler surfaces contribute to a climate-resilient community, together with sustained, continued use of alternative transportation modes that support equity and economic stability. The project’s innovative approach produced a quantitative thermal comfort assessment for the study area and developed clear, forward-thinking performance goals for cooling the urban district.

As temperatures rise, mitigation strategies must be integrated into all infrastructure projects to maintain equitable, healthy communities for all users. Knowing which strategies maximize urban resiliency and mitigation from extreme temperatures can guide how other jurisdictions and regions design for resiliency, equity, health, and vibrant urban economies.