CNT delivers game-changing research, tools, and solutions to create sustainable + equitable communities.


What Do People Want to See in Chicago’s Next eTOD Plan?

Transit-oriented development (TOD) anchors vibrant communities around transit stops. When homes, offices, retail, and other amenities are located nearby, people can spend less time and money getting to all the places in their daily lives. Equitable transit-oriented development (eTOD) takes this a step further by making sure that the benefits of living and working near transit are available to people of all races and income levels. For the past three years, CNT has been working with Elevated... Continue reading »


Featured Publication

Green Values Strategy Guide: Linking Green Infrastructure Benefits to Community Priorities

by CNT
March 2, 2020

Green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) is proven to help places become more resilient in the face of increasingly intense climate change impacts, while addressing other community priorities such as improved public health outcomes, increased economic development, and safe transportation infrastructure. CNT’s new guide “Linking Community Benefits to Green Infrastructure”, a reboot of our 2010 report “Value of Green Infrastructure Guide”, highlights the quantifiable ways that green stormwater infrastructure provides broad benefits to communities.

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Metropolitan Water Reclamation District candidates sound off on strategies to handle storms

South Side Weekly | March 16, 2020

Flooded basements and roads in Chicago are rarely the result of swollen rivers or overbank flooding from Lake Michigan. The culprit, instead, is rainwater. Overdevelopment and a lack of green space in Chicago have left parts of the city unequipped to handle even relatively minor storms. When forests are replaced with asphalt, rainwater cannot be naturally absorbed into the ground, and the city’s aging sewer infrastructure has proven to be inadequate at handling increasingly common rainstorms. 

But this flooding is often left out of the conversation about how climate change will impact Chicago. Olga Bautista, the Southeast Side Community Planning Manager at the Alliance for the Great Lakes, says this oversight can be attributed to the fact that urban flooding doesn’t align with the typical narratives about what flooding looks like. 

“When people think about flooding, they think about Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Maria,” Bautista said. “So when you ask people if they’ve experienced flooding, they say no. But in reality, basement seepage, sewer backups, flooded backyards, and flooded roadways are huge issues that people don’t associate with flooding.”

One agency of government owns most of the responsibility for urban flooding in Chicago: the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD). With three commissioners seeking re-election in a crowded Democratic primary next week, voters must consider how their policies would affect how Chicago deals with this largely overlooked aspect of environmental injustice.

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