CNT in the News

Two CNT-Identified Brownfield Sites Cleaned with EPA Grant

Forest Park Review | July 21, 2017

Two properties on the 7200 block of Circle Avenue were determined to have no environmental liabilities, according to Cook County officials. 

The areas were part of a seven-town U.S. EPA-funded grant program to redevelop old industrial sites. According to CNT research, there are nearly 90 brownfield parcels located in western Cook County. In Forest Park specifically, CNT estimates that there are 20 brownfield parcels covering roughly 60 acres. 

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CNT Study Illustrates the Benefits of Energy Retrofits in Homes

Evidence Matters | July 19, 2017

Launched in 2008, the Energy Savers program is a collaboration between the nonprofit Elevate Energy and Community Investment Corporation (CIC), a community development financial institution. The Energy Savers program allows owners of multifamily buildings to decrease their utility costs through energy-efficient upgrades, which helps keep this housing affordable.

In 2013, the Partnership for Advanced Residential Retrofit (PARR) and the Center for Neighborhood Technology conducted a study of three multifamily buildings in Chicago that were retrofitted through the Energy Savers program. PARR used TREAT Multifamily software — an energy auditing program approved by the U.S. Department of Energy for all residential building types.The researchers note that the building owners in this study saved between $2,667 and $7,774 each year. Energy Savers provides the most cost savings when upgrades prioritize the thermal envelope and the heating and electrical systems.On average, building owners who use the Energy Savers program to finance their retrofits save between 20 and 30 percent per year on their heating, cooling, and water bills, which improves their ability to preserve affordable housing stock.

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COD Planning Led by CNT Can Help Twin Cities Industrial Development

MinnPost | July 11, 2017

A recent inventory of industrial land in Minneapolis concluded that industrial zones within the city are waning. And yet, regional planning policy calls for the protection of industrial lands in order to continue to provide employment for a growing region.

CNT's Director of Market Research and Innovation David Chandler traveled to the Twin Cities to explain the center’s work on developing industrial land in such environments under the umbrella of cargo-oriented development (COD), as well as the work he is doing thanks to a grant from the McKnight Foundation.

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Vote on Illinois Budget Could Signal Renewed Transport Policy Stability

Streetsblog Chicago | July 6, 2017

As reported by Politico, during the Fourth of July holiday the state legislature sent Governor Bruce Rauner a $36 billion budget in an attempt to avoid Illinois becoming the first state to have its bond rating lowered to “junk” status. While Rauner vetoed the proposed budget, the Senate overode the governor's veto, and a vote in the House to do the same could put an end to the state's budget crisis.

According to Scott Bernstein, the crisis has prevented state decision makers from showing leadership when it comes to transportation funding. “So I’m hoping that the budget settlement clears the pall,” he says. For example, he noted that Illinois Department of Transportation chief Randy Blankenhorn was effective at advocating for sustainable transportation when he was head of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning. But the lack of a budget has made it impossible for Blankenhorn to address the state infrastructure repair backlog, let alone pursue smart strategies for improving Illinois’ transportation system.

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12 US Cities with Highest CNT Transit Score

Business Insider | July 5, 2017

Two nonprofit research institutes, the Center for Neighborhood Technology and TransitCenter, designed an objective "transit score" to determine status of public transporation in cities across the US.

The institutes created a metric called the AllTransit Performance Score for subways, light rails, bike shares, and buses in US cities and towns. Using open data from 7,236 cities, researchers looked at factors like affordability, access to jobs, frequency of service, quality, and number of stops. The goal is to encourage policymakers to improve public transportation.

The researchers compiled an ultimate ranking of public transportation in all of these cities and towns. On the site, you can filter by zip code and population.

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CNT Projects Costs of Southwest Interstate Commuter Rail

| July 5, 2017

A recent CNT study projects the cost of a commuter rail connecting El Paso to Las Cruces at $120 to $430 million. The study estimated 4,500 to 7,500 passengers on an average working day. 

"Between the two counties, there is more than enough of an economic social base to support commuter rail," said David Chandler, business analyst with the Center for Neighborhood Technology, who thinks the study proves it's time to start talking about commuter rail between the two cities, like the New Mexico RailRunner that runs from Belen to Santa Fe. "The benefits of transit oriented development are multiple. It's a job creator, it's property value builder and it's an air quality improvement factor."


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