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In response to rising concerns over extreme heat conditions, Maricopa County and its municipalities are exploring the potential for reflective asphalt coatings to lower urban temperatures and provide benefits to County residents. This effort provides a unique opportunity for ASU scientists to collaborate with County officials and conduct an in-the-field assessment of the meteorological impacts of reflective asphalt treatments. This project will also provide data-driven guidance on the benefits and costs of deploying such treatments across the County.

Through both empirical and applied research, our project uses meteorological measurements and dynamical modeling to achieve the following goals: (1) quantify the impacts of reflective asphalt coatings on surface energy balance and near-surface air temperature; (2) simulate widespread implementation of reflective coatings for the total parking lots in Maricopa County; and (3) analyze benefit-cost of the various application scenarios across Maricopa County. Ultimately, we are optimistic that our work allows for clear evaluation of the effectiveness of the reflective coating as a heat mitigating strategy, as well as helps County and municipal officials gain a better understanding of how this type of strategy could fit into their broader sustainability and resilience goals.


Maricopa County Facilities Management



Healthy Urban Environments


April 2020 — Ongoing