Latest CNT Press Release

May 21, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Chicago, IL, May 21, 2019)

The Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) announces that its founder and long-time visionary leader, Scott Bernstein, is stepping down from the organization effective September 30, 2019.

“Scott has had tremendous influence in making cities more equitable and more sustainable,” said CNT Board Chair Robert Henderson. “From his innovative ideas for handling water, energy, transportation, and other critical urban systems, to his collaboration with CNT staff in pioneering data analysis of underlying environmental and economic patterns in order to find sustainable solutions – in these and many other ways Scott has helped change the way cities function today, for all of us. Like so many others on the CNT board and staff, I am grateful for his extraordinary contributions.”

“I continue to believe in the importance of pursuing environmental sustainability and urban equity simultaneously, and I look... Read the rest of this Press Release »

Featured Story

How congestion pricing can help Chicago's infrastructure

Crain's Chicago Business | July 9, 2019

Imagine a Chicago with less crumbling infrastructure, fewer congested roads and more extensive transit and bicycling options. Envision the Windy City with local transportation to match its world-class stature as a place to live, visit and do business.

Then confront this cold reality: Mayor Lori Lightfoot has few good options when it comes to finding revenues to pay for such improvements. In the wake of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s capital plan, further boosts to fuel, parking and real-estate transfer taxes appear to be untenable, at least in the near term. Markedly higher residential property taxes would generate much pushback. Sales taxes are already among the highest in the country.

Fortunately, attractive opportunities exist in the area of "congestion pricing." Such incentive pricing would improve the quality of life and accelerate Chicago's transformation into a bona fide "Smart City," i.e., a place relying on advanced technologies to promote the efficient use and maintenance of infrastructure. Fees to manage congestion within the city and on certain expressways would generate funds for street enhancements, transit service, cycling and walking improvements, and innovations in mobility. Innovations could include promoting much-needed microtransit (e.g., flexible and demand-responsive services using small buses and vans) to fill gaps in our transit system.

For too long, Chicago has lagged behind other cities in using variable fees to manage its roads, rails and parking. Many metro regions have adopted congestion pricing on expressways, and Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Seattle are actively considering it for downtown streets. Recently, [Joseph Schwieterman] joined experts at the Active Transportation Alliance, Center for Neighborhood Technology, Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Metropolitan Planning Council, Shared-Use Mobility Center and ride-share provider Via as well as University of Illinois at Chicago researchers in urging Mayor Lightfoot and relevant committee heads to study the possibility of congestion pricing.