Public Art Installations Meet Green Stormwater Infrastructure
When Overton Elementary School, located in Chicago’s Washington Park neighborhood, was closed in 2013, the future use of the campus was unknown. Many of the 43 schools that were shuttered in 2013 are still vacant today despite early promises that the school campuses would be transformed into community amenities. Overton was purchased by Washington Park Development Group, helmed by Ghian Foreman in 2015, and he has worked in partnership with Borderless Studio, founded and managed... Read the rest of this entry »
Statement From CNT on Equity and Systemic Racism
Black lives matter. Structural racism has enabled law enforcement to use incarceration and lethal violence upon Black men, women, and children, over-and-over, for centuries. These are people with names and families and stories. The current protests give voice to the suffering and righteous anger of Black communities across the nation. We humbly stand in solidarity and allyship with this movement. We will continue our internal journey of pursuing racial equity and justice through our work as... Read the rest of this entry »
The economics of integration or assimilation - why can’t I live in a Black neighborhood without making the journey of a thousand miles for fresh veggies?
Beyond all mainstream Obama-induced beliefs, structural racism is alive and well in this country. This type of racism hasn’t even taken a day off. Racism rears its head in many ways, but one of the ways it silently expresses itself is under the narrative of integration. Our ancestors fought hard and persistently to grant us all the right to live and shop wherever we wanted, but the result behaves more like assimilation than integration. Integration is the unification of... Read the rest of this entry »
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... Read the rest of this entry »
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... Read the rest of this entry »
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... Read the rest of this entry »
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... Read the rest of this entry »
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 »