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 »

No Longer Too Cheap to Meter: Water Infrastructure, Equity, and Affordability

The cost of living has been rising across the U.S. even as incomes stagnate. While increases in big ticket items like housing and health insurance make the news, growing water bills have gained less attention. Water was relatively inexpensive for so long that many communities only began to meter usage in recent years. But costs are on the rise and without some proactive solutions the situation is only going to get worse. In municipalities with growing populations or service areas,... Read the rest of this entry »

Celebration Highlights CNT Innovations

A big thank you to all the friends, donors, sponsors and partners who attended the Sustain-a-City Celebration on September 28th, CNT’s biggest event of the year. The Celebration highlighted CNT’s work, and raised nearly $100,000 for our efforts to help cities operate more sustainably and efficiently. Featured at the Celebration was CNT’s Urban Sustainability Tech Challenge, a five-month program that unlocks talent in our communities to connect entrepreneurs and community members to each... Read the rest of this entry »

CNT Partners with Local Organizations on Climate and Cultural Resilience Project

The 51st Street Green Line Chicago Transit Authority station is bustling with activity.  Every Wednesday, Bronzeville community members come out in droves to visit Boxville Market at Calumet and 51st Avenues to buy vintage clothes, eat locally-made (and often locally-grown) food – tacos, jerk chicken, sweet potato fries-, listen to local DJs, and share space with one another. Across the street from Boxville is a community garden, which provides a sanctuary of green in the area.  There... Read the rest of this entry »

NAS Shines Spotlight on CNT's RainReady

This month, CNT was thrilled to provide its expertise on the topic of urban flooding and highlight its multi-partner work in Chatham and the Village of Midlothian to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) as it explores the issue of urban flooding nationwide.  Founded in 1863, NAS has served as a private, nonprofit organization providing leading research and guidance on issues of science and technology on a national level. The organization brings together experts from diverse fields to... Read the rest of this entry »

Rapid Prototyping in the Public Interest

  By Adam Hecktman, Microsoft's Director of Technology & Civic Innovation for Chicago You don’t have to be a technology expert, or even more than a casual observer of technology, to know that data is everywhere, impacting every field, every industry, and just about every aspect of life. The recent advances in cloud computing power and the proliferation of sensor technology have incredible potential to help humans in terms of what they are capable of.  With the... Read the rest of this entry »

The Problem of Industrial Succession Space

The Chicago economy is continually launching new companies.  Some spin off from older firms; others are start-ups nurtured by business incubators.  One notable incubator is the Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago (ICNC), which has incubated thousands of new companies. Founded in 1967 ICNC is home to over 110 small companies at a time which are supported to grow, and then outgrow their ICNC space.  ICNC is also launching The Hatchery, an incubator focused on food start-ups.... Read the rest of this entry »

Celebration to Showcase New Tech Challenge Innovation

For almost 40 years, CNT has been a national leader in sustainable urban development. CNT’s signature efforts have advanced its commitment to improving urban communities and the quality of life of all their residents. CNT friends, partners and supporters plan to gather and celebrate CNT’s innovations in urban development on September 28th at our Sustain-a-City Celebration. A truly unique evening, this event  will showcase our Urban Sustainability Tech Challenge. CNT’s Tech Challenge... Read the rest of this entry »

Industrial EcoDistricts Present Major Opportunity as Manufacturing Returns to Urban Communities

There are over 950,000 more manufacturing jobs in the U.S. today than in 2010. This resurgence presents a major opportunity for communities. As a segment of manufacturers turns away from the inefficiencies of sprawling suburban industrial parks and re-onshores production from overseas locations there is growing demand for urban locations. But cities that want to take advantage of manufacturing’s return need to be fully prepared. An EcoDistrict approach to industrial revitalization can help keep... Read the rest of this entry »

CNT Awarded Chicago River Blue Award for Calumet Corridor Plan

We’re delighted to announce that on June 13, 2017, CNT received the Green Ribbon Award presented by the Friends of the Chicago River for the RainReady Calumet Corridor Plan. The Friends of the Chicago River host the annual Chicago River Blue Awards to recognize the leading contributions in development, design, and implementation of programs that best exemplify efforts towards building healthier and more sustainable communities through clean water programs. CNT RainReady director Dawn... Read the rest of this entry »