Los Angeles is spending $52,000 per 1.6 kms to paint streets white — and it could have a surprising ripple effect on the city

Los Angeles is painting some of its streets white in an effort to keep the city cool.

The white seal coat, made by a company called GuardTop, is sprayed on roads by a truck. A team of city workers with squeegees then distribute the seal coat evenly across the surface.

Dark-coloured or black asphalt absorbs between 80% and 95% of the sun’s rays, heating up LA’s streets up to 65 degrees Celsius. The light-coated streets, on the other hand, reflect much more of the sun’s rays and are cooler than regular asphalt streets.

While the coatings last for seven years, they are expensive, costing about $US40,000 ($AU51,871) per mile (1.6 kilometres).

But these cooler streets also reflect less heat onto buildings, saving on air-conditioning costs and reducing the effects of climate change.