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... Read the rest of this entry »
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... Read the rest of this entry »
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 ... Read the rest of this entry »
Tech Challenge Participants Address the Question: "Is there a high cost to being poor?"
On December 10, 2019, CNT’s tech challenge participants presented their final project results. Students from UIC and IIT partnered with three community groups – Austin Coming Together (ACT), Community Organizing and Family Issues (COFI), and Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos High School – to answer one guiding question: Is there a high cost to being poor? To answer this question community groups picked a topic most pressing to their community members. Are absentee landlords a problem in Austin... Read the rest of this entry »
Celebrating Summer, Sustainability, and 40 Years
By Deniz Whittier, CNT Young Innovators Building on past years’ success, the Young Innovators fifth annual summer fundraiser welcomed a diverse group of participants and experts. We had 40 guests attend a splendid afternoon with the weather on our side as we enjoyed locally- and ethically-sourced treats and insightful conversations. We kicked off the event with an overview of actions planned by CNT stakeholders for improving current climate and transportation challenges. Special... Read the rest of this entry »
Celebrating Two Years of Building Equity with Elevated Chicago
This July, Elevated Chicago celebrated its second birthday with an event hosted by the Foundation for Homan Square on the top floor of Nichols Tower. Elevated Chicago was initially organized in response to the Strong, Prosperous, And Resilient Communities Challenge (SPARCC), and it uses collaborative, community-led solutions to fight neighborhood displacement and inequities around seven CTA stations. CNT has been part of this collaboration since its birth in 2017. Elevated applies... Read the rest of this entry »
Beyond the Bill – Reflections on Achieving Community Affordability
Toward the end of March, CNT presented at Flint’s 3rd annual Environmental Justice and Resiliency summit. The summit featured four days’ worth of panels, interactive sessions, and trainings on topics ranging from trauma-informed art therapy to creating a blue-green economy in Flint. CNT was pleased to share the stage with Amy Hovey of the C.S. Mott Foundation, Leah Wiste of Michigan Interfaith Power and Light, and the City of Flint’s former CFO Hughey Newsome and Water Superintendent Rob... Read the rest of this entry »
Leveraging Technology to Address Urban Issues
Last week, I had a chance to introduce the Center for Neighborhood Technology to two new groups of potential friends and partners. First, we were visited by a group of Google product managers from across the nation. Many of CNT’s online interactive tools are based on Google Maps, and our conversation quickly focused on how we use these tools to identify and address urban issues. We had innumerable questions for each other: how can we partner to better calculate local transportation-related... Read the rest of this entry »
Buffalo, NY: A Rust Belt City’s new approach to tackling lead in drinking water
Buffalo’s aging infrastructure poses a lead problem. But a one-stop-shop model could unite previously siloed agencies toward a solution. Like many old industrial cities in the Great Lakes region, Buffalo, New York—located on the shores of Lake Erie—has a lead poisoning problem. Children in Erie County, many living within the City of Buffalo’s limits, test positive for lead poisoning at rates much higher than New York State average. Given Buffalo’s old housing stock—the city has... Read the rest of this entry »
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 »