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Bright Roofs, Big City

Keeping L.A. cool through an aggressive cool-roof program

Publication Number 2

Bright Roofs, Big City

​​Los Angeles is one of the best places in the country for a relatively easy and cost-effective measure to improve public health, combat climate change, reduce energy demand, and save money: installing cool roofs. This Pritzker Brief makes a case for accelerating the adoption of cool roofs in L.A. and recommends law and policy strategies for achieving that goal. Using a dataset of L.A. rooftops and some conservative estimates of energy savings, Cara Horowitz shows that L.A. residents could save $30 million a year if the city significantly improved its adoption of cool roofs on new and existing buildings. Other benefits would include improved air quality, lower urban temperatures, and a reduction in global warming equivalent to removing millions of cars from the road for a year.