New projects aim to keep Los Angeles streets, neighborhoods cooler

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the first of multiple projects that will help keep the streets of Los Angeles cool and help combat climate change.

Cool Streets LA is a new program that is aimed at fast-tracking the mayor's Green New Deal by fighting the effects of climate change. The program is said to implement several cooling strategies to help lower temperatures and add shade throughout different L.A. neighborhoods.

"StreetsLA is committed to enhancing the quality of life for all...By implementing holistic, innovative and coordinated solutions such as applying cool pavement, planting trees, installing transit shelters, and adding hydration stations, we are cooling our communities and making our streets safe, mobile, and resilient," said director of the Bureau of Street Services Adel Hagekhalil.

The project launched on Tuesday is the first of 10 that are expected to be completed by 2025 according to the Mayor's Office.

Four bus benches with shade canopies, 14 new street trees and 35,000 square feet of cool pavement were added to a Los Angeles neighborhood in this first Cool Streets LA project.

New street trees, bus bench canopies and cool pavement can be expected to be added to nine other LA neighborhoods in the future projects; about 750 new bus benches with umbrellas are set to be installed by the end of 2020.

Garcetti also announced a design workshop led by the mayor's chief design officer, Christopher Hawthorne, along with StreetsLA. The workshop will develop other options for shade structures that can be added to bus benches.

"In an era of climate change, shade has become an equity issue and can even be thought of as a kind of infrastructure," said Hawthorne. "We've always had beautifully shaded streets and sidewalks in parts of Los Angeles. Our goal is to deliver shade more equitably around the city, to make the experience of walking or waiting for the bus or train more comfortable. In the coming weeks, the Mayor's Office will be supporting this effort by organizing a design workshop to find solutions to provide shade that are both attractive and cost-effective."
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