CNT in the News

Is Chicago becoming a hub for car-related apps?

Built In Chicago | August 13, 2015

Is Chicago emerging as the make-it-or-break-it hub for digital tech innovation in the automobile industry? After this summer’s cascade of car-centered launches and acquisitions, it sure feels like it.

San Francisco’s Getaround, which has already raised around $40 million in funding, launched this week in Chicago. Getaround allows users to rent their unused cars out to other members. Renters can expect to pay an average of $8/hour or $60/day. The launch coincides with Getaround's participation in the federally-funded study through the city’s Shared-Use Mobility Center (SUMC) and the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT).

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The Environmental Impacts of Land Development Depend Largely on Where We Put It

Huffington Post | August 13, 2015

There's a trendy meme emerging in progressive city planning circles to the effect that whether land development is harmful "sprawl" or benign "urbanism" is a matter not of location but of design. I recently saw a tweet expressing this sentiment, written by an influential city planner and picked up quickly by other urban designers. Not long after, I saw a Facebook post along the same lines: "It isn't where, but what that makes a place urban or suburban."

Fortunately, we have great data, organized by the Center for Neighborhood Technology, to draw from and make some comparisons. CNT's remarkably detailed, nationwide database of transportation and housing data (see also here) allows us to hone in on just about any given US location and learn its per capita driving rate and associated per capita emissions of carbon dioxide from transportation. We can then compare these data points to those for other locations and to the averages for the relevant metro regions as a whole.

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Getaround Wants You to Rent Your Car to Your Neighbor in Chicago -- And it's working on a study to see how car sharing works in low income communities.

Chicago Inno | August 11, 2015

A San Francisco car-sharing startup has officially launched in Chicago to let people quickly borrow their neighbor's car, and give owners a chance to earn some money off their idle vehicles. Getaround, which launched in 2009 and has raised $43 million, made its debut in Chicago this week to connect people with privately-owned nearby cars. Similarly to Airbnb, Getaround lets people list when their car is available, and it provides a marketplace for users to find the best deal and the type of vehicle they're looking for.

Getaround's Chicago launch coincides with the startup's participation in a two-year federally funded study of peer-to-peer car sharing in Chicago. Getaround is working with the Shared Use Mobility Center and the Center for Neighborhood Technology to analyze the best car sharing practices and to see how to improve service city-wide.

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More than 900,000 to benefit from grant-funded science and math programs as they head back to the classroom

Bloomberg Business | August 11, 2015

Motorola Solutions Foundation, the charitable arm of Motorola Solutions, announced today that it will grant $3.35 million to organizations to promote science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, with a focus on women and minorities. More than 900,000 students and teachers will receive an average of 100 programming hours from the foundation's partner non-profit organizations this school year. Programs will support students of all backgrounds with a special emphasis on special populations underrepresented in STEM fields.

The Center for Neighborhood Technology's apps competition was one recipient. The competition tasked students with creating and presenting innovative and fully functioning prototypes to benefit local Chicago communities.

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New Car Sharing Concept Debuts in Chicagoland

Evanston Now | August 11, 2015

A new car sharing program has launched in the Chicago region that's designed to let individual car owners rent their idle cars to other drivers through an online service. The service is being provided by a San Francisco-based startup called Getaround, and it's facilitated by a two-year, $475,000 federal research grant to the Center for Neighborhood Technology that's being implemented by the Shared-Use Mobility Center.

The program will operate in Evanston,, Bridgeport, Bronzeville, Pilsen and Rogers Park.

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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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