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 »

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 »

Oak Park partners with RainReady

In 2016 and 2017, the Village of Oak Park partnered with RainReady to help Oak Parkers manage rain at their homes. Here's what happened.       Grass And Concrete Many urban yards look like this one – grass and concrete. When it rains, water runs off into sewers. When the sewer system is overwhelmed, this can cause flooding. RainReady Oak Park was created to help change this. Hidden Flooding RainReady assesses each home to find ways to reduce runoff and... 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 »

Australian Visit Highlights Efficacy of RainReady

This month Chicago will have visitors from a cohort of Australian public works professionals stopping by the city before heading onto the American Public Works Association 2017 Congress, the annual conference for members of the public works industry. The group of Australian professionals will participate in a series of tours throughout the city visiting government agencies, public works and non-profits to garner an understanding of Public Works in the Chicago region. Included in their tour... Read the rest of this entry »

Increased Rainfall and Urban Flooding... and Solutions!

The City of Chicago saw record rainfall in the Spring of 2017, and April ranked in the top ten warmest and wettest Aprils since records began in 1872.  Between January and July of this year, Cook County waterways saw nearly twice the number of combined sewer overflows that occurred between January and July of 2016. These rainfall records bear out the 2014 U.S National Climate Assessment  projection that the Midwest will face increasingly frequent and severe storms resulting in... Read the rest of this entry »

CNT Unveils Latest Tool in Climate Resiliency: My RainReady

CNT's work in equipping communities to be resilient in the face of climate change has involved various approaches, including utilizing urban data and analytics, creating tools, pushing policy work, and working on the ground with communities and their members. CNT's latest tool, My RainReady, has incorporated a number of those methods to help communities and individuals become more climate resilient.  A virtual home assessment tool, My RainReady allows homeowners to learn about... 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 »