Publication Library

Publication Library

Chicago’s Central Manufacturing District: The Past and Future of Urban Manufacturing

CNT
July 7, 2016

Anchored by its landmark 12-story clock tower on Pershing Road, Chicago’s Central Manufacturing District (CMD) was the first planned manufacturing district in the United States. Today, it stands largely empty. The site has myriad advantages – like its central location, solid construction, nearby rail connections, proximity to expressways, and robust fiber optic capacity – that gives it the potential to help bring a manufacturing renaissance to Chicago. 

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Stalled Out: How Empty Parking Spaces Diminish Neighborhood Affordability

CNT
March 25, 2016

Stalled Out: How Empty Parking Spaces Diminish Neighborhood Affordability explores the relationship between unused parking and neighborhood affordability. Many cities, including Chicago, mandate the minimum number of parking spaces new developments need to build. As the report points out, however, these minimum requirements don’t always reflect real demand.

For this study, we interviewed multifamily developers in Chicago and went to the parking lots and garages of 40 apartment buildings, both market-rate and subsidized, to see how much parking was being used. Researchers went at 4:00 a.m., when most tenants have parked their cars and are asleep in bed. Consistent with our findings in the San Francisco Bay AreaWashington, D.C.; and King County, Washington, the study found that:

  • The supply of parking exceeds demand. Buildings offered two spots for every three units. According to our analysis, they only used one for every three.
  • As parking supply goes up, much of it sits empty. Apartments with fewer spaces saw a greater percentage of their parking used.
  • Apartment buildings near frequent transit need less parking. Buildings within ten minutes of a Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) train stop provided one spot for every two units. Even then, one-third of the spots sat empty.

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Estimating Parking Utilization in Multi-Family Residential Buildings in Washington, D.C.

Jonathan Rogers, Dan Emerine, Peter Haas, David Jackson, Peter Kauffmann, Rick Rybeck, Ryan Westrom
January 27, 2016

The District Department of Transportation and the District of Columbia Office of Planning recently led a research effort to understand how parking utilization in multi-family residential buildings is related to neighborhood and building characteristics. Prior research has shown that overbuilding of residential parking leads to increased automobile ownership, vehicle miles traveled, and congestion. Parking availability can affect travel mode choices and decrease the use of transportation alternatives. In addition, zoning regulations requiring parking supplies that exceed demand can increase housing costs and inhibit the development of mixed-use, mixed-income, pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods. The primary research goal is to develop an empirical model for parking utilization in Washington, D.C. and to apply the model to an interactive, web-based tool, named ParkRight DC, to support and guide parking supply decisions. A transparent, data driven process for parking supply decisions may help relieve problems associated with over- or under-supply of parking.

This paper outlines the data collection, model development process, functionality of the resulting tool, and findings on key relationships and policy implications. The model and associated tool relies on local information reflecting residential development and auto ownership patterns drawn from a survey of multi-family residential parking use at 115 buildings covering approximately 20,000 dwelling units in the District.  The resulting model achieved an R-square of 0.835, which is a very strong model given the complexity of the relationship being researched.

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RainReady Midlothian Plan

CNT
January 8, 2016

What would a RainReady Midlothian look like? It would be a community where residents and businesses benefit from flood relief in a way that also brings neighborhood beautification, retail activity, jobs, recreation, and habitat conservation.

In order to better understand Midlothian’s flood risk, the Center for Neighborhood Technology, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Floodlothian Midlothian, and the Village of Midlothian joined together in January 2015. Throughout 2015, this group met monthly, hosted three community meetings, conducted a survey of 253 residents, and published the RainReady Midlothian Interim Report, an account of existing flood risk in the village. Together, we have established a shared vision for a RainReady Midlothian, summarized in this report.

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Income, Location Efficiency, and VMT: Affordable Housing as a Climate Strategy

Gregory L. Newmark Ph.D and Peter M. Haas Ph.D
December 16, 2015

This paper combines detailed travel-survey, transit-service, and land-use data to estimate a model for predicting the role of income and location efficiency in reducing household vehicle-miles traveled (VMT). The research then applies this model to census data collected in the most transit-rich areas of California. The research finds strong justification for California’s current support of location-efficient affordable housing as a strategy to reduce VMT and mitigate climate change.

This working paper was first posted in July 2015. The California Strategic Growth Council commissioned an academic review of the paper in order to consider its use in funding formulas for the allocation of cap and trade funds for the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program. The working paper was revised in response to review comments and reposted on December 16, 2015.

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Freight Train to Community Prosperity: Metrics for the Integration of Community Economic Development and Efficient Freight Movement

CNT
November 18, 2015

In this report, CNT proposes metrics to assess the feasibility and performance of cargo-oriented development (COD), a form of development that integrates freight system efficiencies with the development of manufacturing and logistics businesses in ways that drive local economic growth, reduce poverty, improve the environment, and promote public safety.

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Putting Places First: Targeting Infrastructure Improvements to Spur Investment in Priority Development Areas

CNT
November 16, 2015

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) has helped chart a new framework for regional development focused on underutilized land in existing communities and anchored by walkable neighborhoods, transit, and freight. This report reveals that the transportation projects we’re funding aren’t aligned with—and sometimes are completely opposed to—that goal.

We need to overhaul the system and align it with a planning framework known as Priority Development Areas (PDAs), a commitment across regional governments to invest in transportation, housing, and economic development programs together and in the same places to spark infill development. Rather than thinly spreading limited public dollars without coordination, public agencies should leverage their resources to implement plans, encourage development around existing transit and freight systems, and maximize return on public investment.

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