CNT in the News

CNT Work Featured in Suburban Poverty Report by The Congress for the New Urbanism

The Congress for the New Urbanism | September 7, 2017

The Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) has released a report on suburban poverty, focusing on the Puget Sound region in Washington, within the national context of growing poverty beyond city limits in many regions of the country. The report summarizes a May 2017 symposium in Seattle that drew nearly 1,000 participants.

Combating the Suburbanization of Poverty: The Future of Just, Sustainable Growth in the Puget Sound Region is the result of a partnership between CNU, King County GreenTools, and the Bullitt Foundation. The multi-faceted discussion that led to the report was held on May 2, 2017, in conjunction with CNU’s annual Congress in Seattle.

The report summarizes key points and findings from the event’s speakers, including Elizabeth Kneebone of the Brookings Institution, co-author of Confronting Suburban Poverty in America; and Scott Bernstein, president of the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT). 

Bernstein, using CNT’s AllTransit and Housing and Transportation Index tools, has shown how spatial mismatch contributes to the expense of transportation and persistent suburban poverty in Puget Sound. With housing widely spread out, fewer areas that mix services and retail with housing, and most jobs concentrated in the urban core, suburban residents all pay a high premium for transportation—a reality that hits those in poverty the hardest.

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CNT Data Helps Demonstrate Disparities in Legal Access in Georgia

Georgia State University | September 5, 2017

As part of its goal to help identify and better understand the difficulties people face in navigating the justice system, the Center for Access to Justice has produced an online Access to Justice map of Georgia.

The map provides insight into attorney representation and other factors that affect how, and if, Georgia residents are able to gain access to the justice system.

The data were compiled from a number of sources, including The State Bar of Georgia, the Self Represented Litigants Network, census data from the 2014 American Community Survey, 2015 statistics from the Federal Communications Commission, and data from the Center for Neighborhood Technology's AllTransit tool. 

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Dallas Priorities Informed by CNT's AllTransit Ratings

TransitCenter | August 9, 2017

Dallas’ transit agency, DART, may be poised to change its decades-long priority of building suburban rail at the expense of city transit service. With the Dallas City Council’s appointment of four new DART board members in June and Walkable DFW founder Patrick Kennedy last December, a long-overdue conversation is unfolding about what a regional public transportation system ought to look like and who it should serve. Dallas performs poorly on the measure of frequent transit. According to an analysis using the Center for Neighborhood Technology’s AllTransit tool, roughly nine-tenths of Dallas residents live within a half-mile of transit service – but just 2% live within a half-mile of frequent transit. That’s fewer than in Houston, Denver, Miami, or Charlotte.

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CNT's H+T Index Can Aide Households in Personal Financial Development

Public Square | August 8, 2017

Houses appreciate. Cars depreciate. That simple contrast is a key to building wealth over a lifetime, writes Todd Litman, a researcher with the Victoria Transport Policy Institute.

Even though housing is more expensive in walkable, transit-rich neighborhoods, vehicle costs are substantially lower. Households in such neighborhoods shift their spending from transportation to housing. Over 40 years, this shift will add a million dollars of net worth to a typical household, Litman calculates.

The potential savings are demonstrated in the Housing & Transportation Affordability Index (H+T Index), created by the Center for Neighborhood Technology in Chicago. The Index makes the case that households should not spend more than 45 percent of their income for housing and transportation combined. This goal is best achieved in walkable neighborhoods, even though the cost per square foot of housing may be higher in those neighborhoods.

CNT founder Scott Bernstein notes that poor and working-class families are routinely given financial advice on how to get a car loan, but they are not educated on the financial advantages of reducing transportation expenses.

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CNT Receives Grant from Enterprise Community Partners for Climate and Cultural Resilience

Enterprise Community Partners | August 8, 2017

COLUMBIA, Md.  – Enterprise Community Partners (Enterprise) has awarded $100,000 to each of five community-based organizations nationwide to use arts and culture to make their communities more resilient. The grantees are based in Atlanta; Chicago; Duluth, Minn.; San Francisco; and Wayne, W.Va.

As part of its Climate and Cultural Resilience Grant Program, Enterprise selected these organizations based on proposals that use creative placemaking strategies to strengthen the connection between cultural resilience and climate resilience. The winning proposals identified a local climate resilience issue and defined projects in which residents, artists and other creative practitioners will build cultural resilience in response to the climate challenge.

Through its work rebuilding communities after natural disasters and strengthening them in preparation for future extreme weather and climate change, Enterprise has learned that for a community to be truly resilient, it must also focus on human networks and be sensitive to its unique culture. The Climate and Cultural Resilience Grant Program aims to connect climate and cultural resilience through creative placemaking, which is the intentional integration of arts, culture and creativity in community development.

CNT will create a social and environmental justice initiative with local partners, developing four site-specific art and green infrastructure installations within a half-mile of transit stops in areas of high economic hardship.

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CNT's GreenTrip Connect Tool Proves Useful as Car Ownership Declines

The Business Journals | August 1, 2017

As car ownership levels decline in large cities, developers are feeling the pressure to reduce parking spaces included in residential projects.

There’s a financial incentive for developers to build less parking. Each space costs tens of thousands of dollars to build – in some cases over $60,000 if it’s underground – and eats into real estate that could be more profitable housing units. Residents and advocacy groups have also pushed for less parking. They say it helps the environment and reflects a reality where walkable neighborhoods and ride-hailing apps have made car ownership optional. Self-driving cars could make parking more obselete.

“It’s a sad way to plan a city, where the first priority is housing for the cars,” said Ann Cheng, GreenTrip program director at Transform, a transit advocacy group.

In 2014, Transform and the Center for Neighborhood Technology studied 80 Bay Area housing projectswith a combined 13,823 parking spaces. They found 3,882 spaces, or 28 percent, went unused. Those spaces cost nearly $200 million to build.

“People are recognizing the cost of building parking. Developers are willing to think through different parking opportunities,” said Peter Haas, chief research scientist of CNT.

Transform and CNT created an online tool, GreenTrip Connect, that lets developers pick parcels and see the likely parking usage.

 

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