Raising urban albedo increases the fraction of incident sunlight returned to outer space, cooling cities and their buildings. We evaluated the angular distribution of solar radiation incident on exterior walls in 17 U S. climates to develop performance parameters for solar-retroreflective walls, then applied first-principle physics and ray-tracing simulations to explore designs. Our analysis indicates that retroreflective walls must function at large incidence angles to reflect a substantial portion of summer sunlight, and that this will be difficult to attain with materials that rely on total internal reflection. Gonio-spectrophotometer measurements of the solar spectral bi-directional reflectivity of a bicycle reflector showed little to no retroreflection at large incidence angles. Visual comparisons of retroreflection to specular first-surface reflection for four different retroreflective safety films using violet and green lasers suggest their retroreflection to be no greater than 0.09 at incidence angles up to 45°, and no greater than 0.30 at incidence angles of up to 70°. Attempts to produce a two-surface retroreflector with orthogonal mirror grooves by cutting and polishing an aluminum block indicate that residual surface roughness impedes retroreflection. Ongoing efforts focus on forming orthogonal surfaces with aluminized Mylar film, a material with very high specular reflectance across the solar spectrum. We investigated (1) folding or stamping a free film; (2) adhering the film to a pre-shaped substrate; or (3) attaching the film to a flat ductile substrate, then shaping. The latter two methods were more successful but yielded imperfect right angles.