For Chicago, cooling down may mean lightening up:
In Chicago’s fight to go green, the next step may be to turn gray.
Chicago is signing on as a member of the 100 Cool Cities Initiative. The initiative is a program seeking to offset global carbon emissions by encouraging installation of cool and reflective roofs and pavements in 100 major cities worldwide.
The initiative is spearheaded by Professor Hashem Akbari of Concordia University in Montreal, along with the White Roofs Alliance. Akbari is a founding member of the Heat Island Group and a leading researcher in the field of heat island mitigation.
The idea: reduce emissions and lower a city’s temperatures by installing lighter colored roofs and pavements instead of traditional asphalt roads and tar roofs. A lighter colored roof keeps a building cooler than a black roof by reflecting light instead of absorbing it.