We Met, We Shared, and Together We Innovate!

On Tuesday, December 4, CNT opened our offices to partners and friends both old and new. We rearranged our space to display our current work – see diagram below – and spent three nonstop hours describing it.  Around 150 people came through (we weren’t keeping close count), talked to our staff and board about our priorities and projects, and connected with other friends. Most commonly overhead conversation snippets at the open house: I really like that AllTransit tool. (Thanks,... Read the rest of this entry »

 

Climate Change is Changing Everything

Climate change has been in the news: The U.S. National Climate Assessment found that every region of the country is affected by climate change already and those impacts are likely to grow—threatening health and property and costing our economy as much as hundreds of billions of dollars. The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Poland met to develop the rulebook countries will use to reduce emissions in the coming years. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on... Read the rest of this entry »

 

Welcoming CNT’s Managing Director for Urban Resilience

I’m thrilled to announced that CNT has hired a new Managing Director for Urban Resilience. First, about the position: This is a new title that reflects our future direction as an organization. The Managing Director will oversee CNT’s water program – including RainReady, the Great Lakes Water Infrastructure project, and related efforts – and will tie our water work closely to other urban systems. To effectively address environmental justice and the threats caused by climate change, we need to... Read the rest of this entry »

 

Preserving Affordability of Water Services in Great Lakes Cities

In 1960, Gary, IN was a town of 178,000 residents with a strong economy and a water and sewer system to match. Today, Gary’s 78,000 residents are struggling with aging, oversized systems while facing a 36% poverty rate and a median income of $29,000. Gary’s Sanitary District has worked to keep bills down to preserve the affordability of wastewater services, but this has meant delaying necessary investments and reactively managing infrastructure failures that compromise water quality, cause... Read the rest of this entry »

 

CNT Young Innovators Host 4th Annual Summer Fundraiser

By Rosie Powers, CNT Young Innovators Attendees of this year’s CNT Young Innovators’ Summer Fundraiser were greeted by a day full of sunshine, locally-sourced fare, and an engaging discussion about sustainable food systems. This year’s event was held at Homestead on the Roof in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood. The restaurant’s rooftop garden was a perfect setting for a discussion about sustainable food systems in the Chicago region. CNT’s new CEO Bob Dean introduced the event,... Read the rest of this entry »

 

An Innovative Summer Event with the Young Innovators

As an innovation-focused organization, the Center for Neighborhood Technology needs to constantly generate and explore new ideas and relationships. I was happy to discover early in my time here (I’m now three weeks in) that CNT hosts an excellent network of young professionals who help accomplish this mission. CNT’s Young Innovators group is a community of young professionals working to actively engage with new ideas about urban sustainability and resilience. The Young Innovators host events... Read the rest of this entry »

 

Planning for Scaling Up RainReady With IBM's Corporate Service Corps + Earthwatch Institute

As the new CEO of the Center for Neighborhood Technology, a top priority is finding new partnerships. But I didn’t expect that one would emerge in my first week on the job. Through an opportunity made available through the Earthwatch Institute and IBM, CNT is part of a cohort of four nonprofits – also including the Alliance for the Great Lakes, Openlands, and Teach for America – that received pro bono assistance from IBM’s Corporate Service Corps. Over the past month, IBM’s management... Read the rest of this entry »

 

Illinois Counties Can Provide Essential Flood Protection for Their Communities

The Illinois Legislature took a major step toward reducing urban flooding by passing HB4748 and giving 86 Illinois counties the authority to adopt stormwater management plans and standards and provide essential flood protection services to their villages, homeowners and businesses.  On May 17, 2018, House Bill 4748 (HB4748) easily passed in the Senate having passed in the House unanimously in March.  Illinois has 102 counties, 32 of which meet the definition of “urban”. Under the... Read the rest of this entry »

 

On the Table 2018: Engaging All Generations in Environmental Justice

CNT was delighted to participate again in the Chicago Community Trust’s On the Table on May 8th, 2018. Over lunch at CNT’s offices, we hosted a range of guests in a conversation about environmental justice. Attendees included chairs and co-chairs from the Robbins and Chatham RainReady community steering committees, students from a local high school, and members of the Elevated Chicago coalition. The topic was “Beyond Baby Boomers: Passing the Torch on Local Environmental Justice,” addressing... Read the rest of this entry »

 

Thinking Beyond Costs, Water Systems Innovation

Over and over again we hear that infrastructure in the U.S. has a terrible report card and millions, billions, even trillions of dollars are needed to fix it. Discussed less, however, are the benefits of investing, in particular to upgrade infrastructure beyond the replacement of 100-year-old pipes. We also don’t hear about the high costs of pursuing business as usual—what are we losing by continuing to do things the same way, rather than adapting to changing local needs with systems... Read the rest of this entry »

 

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