Building urban pathways today requires more knowledge and new strategies. In the past, landscapes were developed by basic qualities of the materials, used for design, aesthetics and practicality. Today, the environmental demands and knowledge requires an alteration in how landscape architects approach their use of materials. Using approaches that reduce the heat island effect is a priority to those who are looking at new solutions for urban development.
There are different materials that are known to provide better solutions to the heat island effect. Urban pathways that are built with this level of consciousness are able to provide better solutions. Impervious pavements that have dark or black surfaces as well as certain mixes entrap solar heat and radiation. They stop evaporative cooling from taking place, creating the central problem with the heat island effect. More important, they add into the pollutants and sediments with changing weather patterns because of the inability to filter and merge with environmental patterns.
There are different characteristics associated with reduction of the heat island effect. Physical mechanics, cooling techniques and the overall influence on the thermal environment are all measurements relating to urban pathways. Landscape architects which consider the applications of pavements designed to cool the heat island effect are also able to provide new levels of quality to the landscapes which are created. It is known that there are direct results from cool pavements that are designed to reduce the heat island effect.
The urban pathways which use specific materials result in monitoring and reducing the amount of heat stored and reflective from pavement. The materials consist of multiple layers, some which are porous. These allow the solar heat to automatically shift their relationship to the pavement. The pathway materials offer erosion control, reduces sediment run-off and are able to provide a direct impact to balance natural elements with the urban pathways. Concepts such as heat harvesting and energy reduction materials further support the ability to change the heat island effect with certain materials.
The scientific approach to landscape architect buildings is one which is now merging with the environment. When looking at materials for urban pathways, there are new considerations to look at. Understanding the results from specific materials, such as porous pathways, results in low – maintenance high quality alternatives for cities and the urban environment.