Clearing the Air: The Orange Skies of Today's Climate Change
You may not know it, but CNT has a small San Francisco outpost. As I sat on conference calls discussing how to make housing more resilient to climate change and the greenhouse gas benefits of transit in communities last week it all felt extra urgent, because the sky outside my window looked like this: Wildfire smoke from up and down the west coast has been affecting San Francisco for weeks, but when it combined with our fog to blot out the sun and cast an eerie orange glow so dark that... Continue reading »
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... Continue reading »
CNT Welcomes New Project Associate Cyatharine Alias
At this time, we are reckoning with the historic and current injustices that minoritized populations have faced in this country. These injustices are not limited to the “fast deaths” of obvious racist attacks; it includes the “slow deaths” occurring from the disproportionate effects of climate change and pollution. During this time, I am excited to join Center for Neighborhood Technology as a Project Associate on the Urban Resilience team. In my first few weeks, the discussions we’ve had have... Continue reading »
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... Continue reading »
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... Continue reading »
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... Continue reading »
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... Continue reading »
What Can Communities Do About Lead in Drinking Water?
From inventories to public education, here's how local leaders can take action on lead An estimated 6 million leaded service lines deliver drinking water to households across the United States, and when these lines leach lead into drinking water, it poses a serious public health problem. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, states and cities are working to issue moratoriums on water shutoffs and reconnect service to those that have been shut off—but it’s important to... Continue reading »
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... Continue reading »
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... Continue reading »