CNT in the News

Why More ‘Transit-Oriented Development’ Could Mean Lower Rent

Chicago Magazine | August 4, 2015

New transit-oriented development (TOD) rules proposed by Chicago's mayor would allow for increased density and relax parking requirements. The goal is lower rents and more affordable housing, but issues of equity fall along familiar geographic lines. Phrases like “transit-oriented development” or its acronym, TOD, tend to make people’s eyes glaze over, but it could have profound effects on what the city looks like—though not as much as some would like—and how we live in it.

“This is an affordable-housing strategy,”said Kyle Smith, who manages CNT's TOD work. With parking costs, “it’s harder to make a building with an affordable-housing subsidy cancel out.”

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'Fourth City'? Here's how to encourage population development in Chicago

Crain's Chicago Business | July 29, 2015

CNT's Kyle Smith cites a recent study showing Chicago soon may lose its position as the nation's third-largest city to Houston, but says it misses the point. The study, conducted by the Kinder Institute on Urban Research at Rice University, shows that Houston has room to grow while Chicago does not, a point Kyle strongly contends. Chicago has plenty of room to grow, near transit sites. But CNT's research has shown that from 2000-2010, that Chicago was the only one in North America with a legacy rail system that grew away from its transit stations. 

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has proposed new Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) rules, but CNT says the city ought to consider the South and West Sides, where transit-served neighborhoods cope with ongoing population loss. Yet the proposed TOD zoning expansion doesn't seem engineered to spark growth there. Rather, it permits bigger incentives for development on designated pedestrian streets (or “P Streets”), but according to analysis from Daniel Kay Hertz's City Notes, almost all of those streets exist on Chicago's North Side.

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Transit-Oriented Development and Cargo-Oriented Development

DC Velocity | July 23, 2015

Today, with development of new communities and redevelopment of older urban areas, there is increasing interest in increasing public transportation. Reducing congestion and addressing environmental concerns are now the focus.During the past few decades there have been initiatives to decrease travel times and increase access to services to reduce environmental and congestion problems. One such initiative is transit-oriented development in older municipalities to take advantage of light rail and bus service to get people around. The emphasis is on developing housing to be within one-half mile of public transportation and retail business. Walking and bicycle pathways also give citizens of these communities more healthful travel options. The transit-oriented development concept led to a similar industry objective: cargo oriented development or logistics cluster. The purpose of these strategies is to increase close local employment opportunities by bringing distribution and industrial operations together to serve industry needs. By improving abandoned lands and developing vacant properties with cargo-oriented development in mind, employment and living quality is improved within these clusters.There is a positive connection between transit-oriented development and cargo-oriented development communities; one’s needs are met by the other’s available resources. 

The Center for Neighborhood Technology is a nonprofit research and advocacy organization that has worked with community developers to tie these transit-oriented development and cargo-oriented development together.

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Elmhurst committee to take closer look at flood proofing homes

My Suburban Life | July 23, 2015

ELMHURST – The Public Works and Buildings Committee met and discussed a floodproofing program to help residents minimize or eliminate flooding issues in their homes. One option proposed is a partnership with the Center for Neighborhood Technology, a grant-funded organization in Chicago that offers services to reduce flood damages for homeowners. The organization has one particular service, called the Wetrofit Program, that evaluates individual homes, determines the source of flooding problems and reports the best way to handle the issues in an inexpensive way.

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Proposed cuts to CTA funding may be worse than predicted

Red Eye | July 23, 2015

The seven-member CTA board recently marked the end of longtime transit advocate and CNT vice president for policy Jacky Grimshaw's five-year tenure. Grimshaw likely will be replaced with Arabel Alva Rosales, CEO of technology firm A. Alva Rosales & Associates and former Illinois Human Rights commissioner. Other board members and CTA President Forrest Claypool offered their thanks to Grimshaw for her public service.

"This is a sad day for us losing Jacky on the board," said Claypool, who called Grimshaw a "tremendous public servant."

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Here's Harold! (the robot edition)

WBEZ 91.5 | July 23, 2015

CNT's Jacky Grimshaw was quoted in this WBEZ story about the DuSable Museum’s Harold Washington robot. Jacy, one of Washington’s former advisors, says the Harold ‘bot is okay for people who didn’t know him, but it doesn’t dig below the surface.

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