Chasing after an adequate grocer: trains, cars, bikes, and my Black experience.
Having always lived in a Black community, I have always had to travel to the next-town-over to buy full groceries. There was one exception. As a child, I often walked to an exceptional grocery store. It was built on the site of an existing forest, anchored economic development, then suddenly closed after seven years. It remains vacant more than twenty years later. I will also note that the grocery store provided video rentals. The lower cost and one-stop-shopping forced... Continue reading »
Who Am I and Why Do I Live in a Food Desert? (Hint - It’s Because I’m Black)
A food desert is commonly defined as a neighborhood area more than a mile away from full-service food access. First, a little context: I am a Black female millennial who rents on the West Side of Chicago. Grocery shopping is the only form of shopping I enjoy, I engage in it every other day. My parents moved me to an auto-oriented suburb when I was very young. Without anyone telling me it was so, I believed that when I saw a person walking they did so because they were destitute... Continue reading »
What Can Communities Do About Lead in Drinking Water?
From inventories to public education, here's how local leaders can take action on lead An estimated 6 million leaded service lines deliver drinking water to households across the United States, and when these lines leach lead into drinking water, it poses a serious public health problem. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, states and cities are working to issue moratoriums on water shutoffs and reconnect service to those that have been shut off—but it’s important to... Continue reading »
CNT Welcomes Its New Director of Transportation Equity Heidy Persaud
While it’s an interesting time to start a new job, I am enthusiastic about my upcoming role as Director of Transportation Equity at the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT). I get to join a talented and innovative team, while working to tackle our work on transportation with a multidisciplinary and equitable focus. I will be jumping right into some important and fascinating projects. With our partners at TransitCenter, I’ll be working with transit agencies and advocates across the... Continue reading »
Envisioning a More Equitable and Sustainable Future
Life has turned upside down for families and communities around the world over the past several months. Inequality, poverty, and lack of access to basic needs, which we have long struggled with in our communities, has been made exponentially worse by this global pandemic and its economic fallout. CNT’s staff (working from home) is continuing to help cities solve today’s problems while creating visions for the future of sustainable, equitable communities. It is our hope that when this is all... Continue reading »
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 »
Recovery and Resilience
During disasters, we focus on crisis management: treating the sick and providing the basic services we need to survive. Right now, we need support for the frontline public health workers and emergency service providers who are dealing with this crisis firsthand, and economic assistance for the retail and hospitality and service workers who have lost their jobs. We applaud the foundations and individuals who are giving generously to these necessary causes. I am not the first person to note... Continue reading »
Advocacy Perspective on the History of Equity in Transportation
At this year's Transportation Research Board's (TRB) meeting, twelve TRB committees came together to sponsor a session entitled, "Equity Reframed: Looking Back and Planning Ahead." The focus was to review historical milestones and forecast future opportunities to eliminate systemic barriers to full equity by marginalized communities and to provide more equitable access to transportation services. As a speaker, I had the opportunity to share CNT’s perspective. Our session ... Continue reading »
What We Learned from Chicago’s E-scooter Pilot Program
Today, the City of Chicago released an evaluation of the city’s e-scooter pilot. The program, which ran from June 15th to October 15th 2019 within a designated area on the west and northwest sides, involved 10 e-scooter providers, over 800,000 reported rides, and was intended to evaluate whether e-scooters could enhance the sustainability, equity, and safety of the city’s transportation system. CNT applauds the City of Chicago’s commitment to rigorous analysis and community engagement to... Continue reading »
2020 Brings New Priorities and Opportunities at CNT
Thanks to all who engaged with us in 2019! With a new year comes new priorities and opportunities at CNT. Here are some of the things I’m most excited about in 2020: 1. New roommates. Our friends at Greenprint Partners, a mission-driven green infrastructure firm, have joined us in Suite 1400 at 17 N State Street. We’re already partnering with Greenprint on a USDA Conservation Innovation Grant and a research grant from the National Science Foundation, and hope to do more together in the... Continue reading »