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Friday, February 15th, 2013
Photo credit: Patrick Putze
For nearly a century the Bloomingdale freight line has rolled across and above the City’s Northwest side. Today the tracks are aligned to transform the Bloomingdale into an elevated, mixed-use, linear park and trail running through the heart of Chicago, connecting neighborhoods, the river, and Chicago’s great park system. Since 2003, Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail have been advocating for this conversion of the rail line into Chicago’s next great park. Many community groups and public agencies have participated in a community charrette that led to the development a framework plan for this major endeavor.
CNT is pleased to be hosting, Reframing Ruin: A Prelude to the Bloomingdale Trail, a photography exhibition presented by Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail and The Trust for Public Land. The exhibit showcases the community’s documentation of the future trail, its relationship to the diverse neighborhoods it cuts through, and how we currently interact with this stretch of land through photography. Read more »
Monday, February 11th, 2013
CNT’s pioneering program, ‘Smart Water for Smart Regions’ and its practical focus on designing strategies to help communities alleviate costly water leakages and property damage from flooding, is attracting national attention. Our program staff have been appointed to national and state committees, and invited to speak at national events about this initiative. Read more »
Friday, February 8th, 2013
The Center for Transit-Oriented Development (CTOD) today released results of a year-long study into the potential for transit-oriented development to unlock economic, environmental and fiscal benefits for Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. The report, “Transit-Oriented Development Typology Strategy for Allegheny County,” was commissioned by the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group under the auspices of its GoBurgh initiative and funded by the Heinz Endowments. Read more »
Tuesday, February 5th, 2013
“Photo Credit: NASA Goddard Photo and Video/Flickr Creative Commons”
The insurance company, State Farm, has renewed its support for CNT’s “Smart Water for Smart Regions” initiative.
State Farm was a core supporter of the initiative in 2012, along with the Joyce Foundation and Surdna Foundation. Funding is being used to help communities develop strategies to alleviate costly water leakages, as well as property damage from flooding. Organizational supporters include the American Water Works Association, Water Environment Federation, Alliance for Water Efficiency, and the Great Lakes Commission.
Read more »
Friday, February 1st, 2013
CNT’s affiliate, CNT Energy, hit a milestone this month:more than 10,000 apartment units in the Chicago metropolitan area have been retrofitted with energy efficiency improvements through its Energy Savers program. Energy Savers, a one-stop shop that helps multifamily building owners make energy efficiency improvements to their properties, saves building owners 30 percent on utility costs on average ($10,000 per year for a 24-unit building), allowing landlords to keep rents reasonable because of those savings. Additionally, the program has cut more than 13,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, created nearly 400 jobs, and provided nearly $10 million in loans and grants to complete the building improvements.
Lou Sopcic owns a 96-unit building located in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago. “Going through the Energy Savers program made owning this building viable,” said Sopcic. “Energy efficiency for this building is the difference between being able to balance expenses and losing our property.” The savings helped Sopcic preserve nearly 100 units of affordable housing. Read more »
Thursday, January 31st, 2013
CNT will be participating in an upcoming summit on Building a 21st Century Transit System. Riders for Better Transit, a group dedicated to organizing Chicagoland transit riders to push for improved and expanded services in the city, will be hosting a summit at the UBS Tower Conference Center on February 25th. Bringing together a group of transportation policy leaders, the summit will discuss the challenges of creating a 21st century transit system. Focusing on issues like reform of the transit authorities’ governance structure and funding sources and investment strategies of the Chicagoland transit system, expert panels will discuss potential solutions to the problems facing the region. Read more »
Thursday, January 24th, 2013
With especially stretched budgets, and a commitment to keeping tenant rents low, it only makes sense for affordable housing providers to reduce their operating costs through energy efficiency upgrades. Yet, the affordable housing community utilizes energy efficiency resources at a disproportionately low rate compared to other types of housing. Why?
A recent blog post CNT Energy co-wrote with Focus on Energy addresses this quandary. It explores key themes essential to better integration with affordable housing, including language employed, division of duties, and timing.
Read the complete post here>>
Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013
The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) is in the process of developing Sustainable Urban Infrastructure Guidelines and Policies in order to expand upon the environmental benefits of Complete Streets and respond to changing climate conditions. The guidelines will define ways to implement environmental best practices on CDOT infrastructure projects and all work within our streets and alleys. With input from project stakeholders, CDOT is proposing a consistent criteria for the design, implementation, and maintenance of sustainable infrastructure best practices that will help ensure these innovative ideas are consistently implemented.
On January 29th from 6-9pm, CNT will host a public briefing meeting for CDOT to share the draft guidelines. As a project stakeholder, CNT is a participating member of the task force to inform and shape these unique, wide-reaching guidelines and policies. If you’ve ever seen your street re-paved, only to see a utility trench cut a year later and roughly covered over, these guidelines hope to address this issue (among many other issues that affect the long-term viability of our urban infrastructure). Read more »
Thursday, January 17th, 2013
Governor Quinn’s announcement of a new $1 billion Clean Water Initiative to overhaul the Illinois’s “aging water infrastructure” left one thing out—stormwater. But don’t worry! CNT has good news for communities seeking to improve water quality and reduce urban flooding, according to our inquiry to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, stormwater is included.
Since the Governor has ordered that this money should be invested in local and regional projects through the State Revolving Loan Funds, now is a perfect time for local governments and counties to apply for low interest loans (1.93%) for their water supply and stormwater projects that will prevent leaks, improve water quality and reduce urban flooding.
Read more »
Thursday, January 10th, 2013
In the Chicago region, as in most US metropolitan areas, the dispersal of businesses and residents from settled communities to greenfield developments has created a number of socioeconomic and environmental challenges. The growth of employment centers in exurban areas inaccessible by mass transit creates strains on municipal infrastructure, depletes farmland and natural resources, increases regional congestion and pollution from cars and trucks, and exacerbates a jobs-housing mismatch as workers must drive farther and pay more at the fuel pump. These trends can be countered by creating more jobs, housing, and amenities near well-established passenger and freight transportation infrastructure, particularly in the west Cook County suburbs, as a recent CNT report finds. Read more »