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 »

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 »

Withdrawing from Paris Agreement a Mistake

President Trump’s recent announcement that the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change was a disappointing step backward for the nation on one of the greatest global challenges of our era.  The impacts of climate change are already happening today—we are seeing flooding communities, droughts, and an increasing frequency of so-called “100 year storms.” Turning a blind eye in the hopes of resurrecting an antiquated, outdated carbon-based economy is not going to make the... Read the rest of this entry »

It's Time to Rethink That Infrastructure Question

It will cost about $4.6 trillion to bring U.S. infrastructure to a state of good repair, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers Infrastructure Report Card released last week.  If by some miracle our civic leadership raised all that money and hired the engineering and construction firms to do the work, we'd end up with thousands of examples of state-of-the-art 1950s investments. Let's not do that. Instead, let's acknowledge the costs of outdated approaches that wasted... Read the rest of this entry »

CNT Presses the Urban Agenda Forward

When I took over as CEO this fall, I reflected on the journey some of my longest-serving colleagues have been on for many years: associating responsible economic development in cities with needs for social justice, climate protection, and resilience. While support in the United States for this way of thinking has clearly ebbed and flowed in modern history, it is clear that CNT has been at the forefront of understanding infrastructure development in ways that have been quite unpopular, and often... Read the rest of this entry »

Cubs Win! CNT's Urban Analytics Team Wins Too!

Some of you will recall that when I took over as CEO of the Center for Neighborhood Technology this Fall, I noted that our team was expecting a Cubs World Series victory this year.  Now that we’ve achieved that historic goal in Chicago, reaching our other organizational strategic goals are taking center-stage. We feel inspired by what this city can accomplish, when we put our hearts and minds to something. At CNT, our mission for 38 years has been to ensure urban economic development... Read the rest of this entry »