Climate

As cities face new environmental and economic realities, they need innovative ways to stay strong in the face of climate change. Our works offers tangible, measureable actions that can help make cities healthy, resilient, and prosperous.

Our work helps cities become resilient in the face of climate change. As weather patterns become more volatile and natural resources become increasingly scarce, it is important to have innovative but achievable systems in place to help cities, businesses, and individuals adapt.

From flood-proofing homes to promoting lower-carbon transit options to making freight movement greener, our work provides tangible climate strategies that save people money. Solutions like these also offer promising business opportunities that can help grow local economies while shrinking the impact of climate change.

Our unique approach to climate change action includes place-based quantification of emissions sources and the benefits of reductions to help communities target their efforts.

One way we help cities and neighborhoods maximize the impact of climate innovations is through the EcoDistrict framework. EcoDistricts link energy, transportation, water, and land use in an integrated, efficient, and equitable resource system at the district scale.

What does this  mean for you? CNT’s work has found that:

  • City residents emit fewer greenhouse gases (GHGs) per capita than residents of sprawling, auto-oriented places, making compact development a valuable strategy for lowering carbon emissions.
  • The effects of climate change are already starting to increase rainfall in many parts of the country. Low-cost solutions like RainReady℠ Home help people prepare for volatile weather.
  • Promoting cargo-oriented development and increasing the amount of freight shipped by rail helps reduce the number of semis on the road, cutting air pollution and reducing GHGs.
  • People can save money by making smart transportation and energy choices, and our Equity Express program teaches them how.
  • District-scale solutions like EcoDistricts make infrastructure better able to withstand disasters and disruptions.

“The strength of the Chicago Climate Action Plan is that it is grounded in disciplined research and analysis. CNT played a lead role in managing the research process, including conducting the greenhouse gas baseline assessment. The plan would not have been possible without their partnership.”

 
Sadhu Johnston
Deputy City Manager of Vancouver + former Chief Environmental Officer of Chicago

Research + Further Reading

Tree Asset Management in Portland, Oregon

by CNT
June 28, 2011

This study shows that Portland is well-positioned to pilot a tree asset management program that would lay the groundwork for turning its tree canopy into a bondable asset, similar to bridges and roads. The study identified six steps through which Portland and other cities can create a tree asset management program. The study also provides several case studies of other cities that are attempting to turn their trees into assets.

 

Chicago’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions: An Inventory, Forecast and Mitigation Analysis for Chicago and the Metropolitan Region

by CNT
September 18, 2008

This research was part of a broader effort by the City of Chicago to determine the local ramifications of climate change, for its citizens and for City operations. In addition to CNT’s work on emissions and mitigation strategies, the City engaged researchers to examine climate-change adaptation, economic impacts, and the effects of climate change on City departments.