CNT in the News
Chicago River Still Teems with Bacteria Flushed From Sewers After Storms
Chicago Tribune | June 23, 2017
The thunderstorms that swept across the city on a sultry July evening last year weren't unusual for a typical Chicago summer. But rain still quickly saturated the city's aging sewers, draining off streets, parking lots and rooftops into an underground labyrinth that also carries sewage from households and factories. Within minutes, the noxious blend of liquid waste began flushing out of more than three dozen overflow pipes that empty into the Chicago River, the long-abused waterway Mayor Rahm Emanuel promotes as a showcase for urban revitalization.
In the low-lying Chatham neighborhood on the South Side, the nonprofit Center for Neighborhood Technology is working with city and district officials to keep water out of the sewers by directing downspouts away from homes, sealing foundation cracks and installing rain gardens and other landscaping improvements to absorb runoff.
"Remember that Chicago was built on a swamp and the natural landscape acted like a sponge," said Scott Bernstein the group's co-founder. "It's getting warmer and it's getting wetter and we keep paving over everything, so that sponge can't do its job. Instead all of that water ends up in your basement or your street or the river."View Story
A Cheap Home Isn't Affordable If It Comes With High Transportation Costs
CityLab | June 23, 2017
We shouldn’t be talking about housing affordability in isolation. We should really be talking about “affordable living” rather than “affordable housing.” If your rent is low, but you have to spend a disproportionately large share of your income on transportation, then your living situation isn’t affordable. This is the essential insight behind CNT's Housing + Transportation Index which quantifies the approximate costs associated with housing and transportation in different neighborhoods. CNT used census data on income and housing costs, and estimates of commuting patterns, transit available and car ownership to estimate what fraction of a household’s income gets spent on housing and transportation in different locations.View Story
CNT Study Lays Tracks for Future Commuter Rail in Southwest
El Paso Times | June 22, 2017
In April, 2016, CNT conducted a wide-reaching online survey receiving more than 1,000 responses and including two public meetings, one in Las Cruces, and another in Anthony.
“The study reveals how people will use the commuter service, which impediments or problems the commuter service may have, and will be helpful for a proposed service plan,” said David Chandler, director of market research and innovation at CNT and project manager for the commuter rail study. “A rail service would be a fixed, permanent anchor (of transportation) and would operate on the same track as the Burlington Northern Santa Fe, one of the largest freight railroads in the United States.”View Story
CNT to Prevent Basement Backups on South Side
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago | June 15, 2017
CNT's RainReady program will coordinate project outreach, construction management, and job creation surrounding the MWRD and City of Chicago-funded 40-home Chatham flood prevention project.View Story
CNT to Work with MWRD, City on Flood Control in Chatham
Chicago Defender | June 8, 2017
After work in Chatham to assess and propose inland flooding solutions for the Chicago community of Chatham for nearly two years, CNT is excited to form a partnership with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago and the City of Chicago to initiate a research pilot study in Chatham, assessing 40 homes that will be retrofitted for flood prevention using green infrastructure. Commissioner Kari K. Steele, a former Chatham resident, who has championed this effort, commended the MWRD staff and the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) for their diligence to help address this critical issue in the Chatham community, stating “I’m excited about this project and my colleagues and I fully support this pilot study and understand firsthand the chronic urban flooding that affects this area.” Steele further commented that not only would the project reduce basement backups, but it would also “take pressure off of the local sewer lines, and serve as a model for other neighborhoods that experience urban flooding across the Chicagoland area”.View Story
Perspectives at the Water-Energy-Climate Nexus
Modern Pumping Today | May 18, 2017
A field of experts gathered to discuss climate change in the context of water and energy innovation and issues at Northwestern University’s 2016 Climate Change Symposium. The event was coordinated by the Northwestern Center for Water Research, the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, the Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern (ISEN), and the Northwestern-Argonne Institute of Science and Engineering. CNT was there, highlighting its work that has motivated elected officials to enact legislation requiring FEMA to conduct a national study on urban flooding. Based on its many partnerships, CNT, has been able to deliver more sustainable practices that come to the aid of homeowners and communities to mitigate flooding. Through CNT’s popular RainReady initiative, homeowners and municipalities save money by installing green infrastructure solutions like rain gardens and bioswales for stormwater management.View Story