Cool pavement pilot project

Roads, sidewalks, and bike paths cover a significant portion of the surface in cities and agglomerations. These often black asphalts absorb a lot of solar energy during the day, heat up and store the heat of the day to release it overnight - these affected cities are several degrees warmer than their surrounding areas. This urban warming effect poses a serious threat to human health. Climate change is increasingly fueling this effect, especially in densely built-up cities and agglomerations.

Cool pavement pilot project

However, there are already road surfaces that heat up less than conventional surfaces due to their lighter color. In Switzerland, no such pavements have been tested in practice so far, which is why the present pilot project takes on a pioneering role.

This project in the pilot program of the FOEN wants to test different pavements in practice in cooperation with the cantons of Bern and Valais. On the one hand, cooling pavements will be installed and, on the other hand, their practical applicability, such as construction, costs, maintenance and noise effects, will be clarified. For this purpose, various pavements were installed in June and July 2020 in Bern and Sion. During the hot summer days, the pavement properties were recorded using sensors in the pavement and surface temperature measurements.


In Bern, the cameras and loggers have now been dismantled at the end of November 2020, while in Valais the measurements continue over the winter. First results are available and are promising.


The main objective of the pilot project is to provide cities, municipalities and cantons affected by heat island effects with a tool that answers the most important questions on the application and use of the different cool pavement solutions and allows the situation-specific selection of the appropriate measures to mitigate the heat island effect.


The project in the media: