Quieter, cooler streets for Paris

Yellow steam roller in street background
Three streets in Paris will be relaid with the new road surfaces in a bid to cut traffic noise by 50%

City wants to cut traffic noise by 50% and refresh too-warm air

Paris is to test new road surfaces that could cut both traffic noise and excess heat, making the city quieter and cooler.

Noise pollution is a major problem for about 22% of city residents and the experiment will test three surfaces with known "sound and thermal properties, as well as acceptable durability" to reduce tyre noise. It could cut traffic noise by 50%.

The new surfaces will also have water-retaining properties to try to help ‘refresh the air’ and the test will look at the effect of different colours to ‘bounce back’ the light.

Like all cities, Paris heats up in the sun as buildings are good insulators which then give off that heat to make life very difficult for residents, particularly the elderly.

Known as the ‘urban heat island’ effect, it can see Paris 2-3C warmer than surrounding areas in the countryside as the warm air cannot escape the dense city streets.

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City official Célia Blauel told Le Journal du Dimanche that studies had shown that this effect could even raise temperatures by 8-9C by 2100 if nothing was done.

Using ‘Life C-low-n Asphalt’ (cool and low-noise asphalt), the project with road-builders Colas and wbuilding firm Eurovia is backed by Ile-de-France noise pollution watchdog Bruitparif.

The €2.9million test will see three streets – the first to be named is Avenue du Général Leclerc in the 14th arrondissement – relaid with the new surface over about 400m.

France is also testing a road covered with solar panels in Normandy as well as a ‘rechargeable road’ for electric vehicles near Versailles.

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