CNT in the News

CNT Receives Grant from Enterprise Community Partners for Climate and Cultural Resilience

Enterprise Community Partners | August 8, 2017

COLUMBIA, Md.  – Enterprise Community Partners (Enterprise) has awarded $100,000 to each of five community-based organizations nationwide to use arts and culture to make their communities more resilient. The grantees are based in Atlanta; Chicago; Duluth, Minn.; San Francisco; and Wayne, W.Va.

As part of its Climate and Cultural Resilience Grant Program, Enterprise selected these organizations based on proposals that use creative placemaking strategies to strengthen the connection between cultural resilience and climate resilience. The winning proposals identified a local climate resilience issue and defined projects in which residents, artists and other creative practitioners will build cultural resilience in response to the climate challenge.

Through its work rebuilding communities after natural disasters and strengthening them in preparation for future extreme weather and climate change, Enterprise has learned that for a community to be truly resilient, it must also focus on human networks and be sensitive to its unique culture. The Climate and Cultural Resilience Grant Program aims to connect climate and cultural resilience through creative placemaking, which is the intentional integration of arts, culture and creativity in community development.

CNT will create a social and environmental justice initiative with local partners, developing four site-specific art and green infrastructure installations within a half-mile of transit stops in areas of high economic hardship.

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CNT's GreenTrip Connect Tool Proves Useful as Car Ownership Declines

The Business Journals | August 1, 2017

As car ownership levels decline in large cities, developers are feeling the pressure to reduce parking spaces included in residential projects.

There’s a financial incentive for developers to build less parking. Each space costs tens of thousands of dollars to build – in some cases over $60,000 if it’s underground – and eats into real estate that could be more profitable housing units. Residents and advocacy groups have also pushed for less parking. They say it helps the environment and reflects a reality where walkable neighborhoods and ride-hailing apps have made car ownership optional. Self-driving cars could make parking more obselete.

“It’s a sad way to plan a city, where the first priority is housing for the cars,” said Ann Cheng, GreenTrip program director at Transform, a transit advocacy group.

In 2014, Transform and the Center for Neighborhood Technology studied 80 Bay Area housing projectswith a combined 13,823 parking spaces. They found 3,882 spaces, or 28 percent, went unused. Those spaces cost nearly $200 million to build.

“People are recognizing the cost of building parking. Developers are willing to think through different parking opportunities,” said Peter Haas, chief research scientist of CNT.

Transform and CNT created an online tool, GreenTrip Connect, that lets developers pick parcels and see the likely parking usage.


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Complex Factors Contribute to Decline of MTA

Mic | July 25, 2017

As the decline of New York's MTA affects the city's most vulnerable populations, CNT's Scott Bernstein delineates a number of factors that have led to the diminuition of public transporation in New York City.

According to Scott, the current state of the MTA is the result of a confluence of factors, including historical underfunding, urban sprawl, and competition with new forms of transporation like Uber and Lyft.

"All of that adds up to a system that, for the last couple of decades, has been suffering," Scott comments. "We're seeing it now in the drop-off in service."


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Two CNT-Identified Brownfield Sites Cleaned with EPA Grant

Forest Park Review | July 21, 2017

Two properties on the 7200 block of Circle Avenue were determined to have no environmental liabilities, according to Cook County officials. 

The areas were part of a seven-town U.S. EPA-funded grant program to redevelop old industrial sites. According to CNT research, there are nearly 90 brownfield parcels located in western Cook County. In Forest Park specifically, CNT estimates that there are 20 brownfield parcels covering roughly 60 acres. 

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CNT Study Illustrates the Benefits of Energy Retrofits in Homes

Evidence Matters | July 19, 2017

Launched in 2008, the Energy Savers program is a collaboration between the nonprofit Elevate Energy and Community Investment Corporation (CIC), a community development financial institution. The Energy Savers program allows owners of multifamily buildings to decrease their utility costs through energy-efficient upgrades, which helps keep this housing affordable.

In 2013, the Partnership for Advanced Residential Retrofit (PARR) and the Center for Neighborhood Technology conducted a study of three multifamily buildings in Chicago that were retrofitted through the Energy Savers program. PARR used TREAT Multifamily software — an energy auditing program approved by the U.S. Department of Energy for all residential building types.The researchers note that the building owners in this study saved between $2,667 and $7,774 each year. Energy Savers provides the most cost savings when upgrades prioritize the thermal envelope and the heating and electrical systems.On average, building owners who use the Energy Savers program to finance their retrofits save between 20 and 30 percent per year on their heating, cooling, and water bills, which improves their ability to preserve affordable housing stock.

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COD Planning Led by CNT Can Help Twin Cities Industrial Development

MinnPost | July 11, 2017

A recent inventory of industrial land in Minneapolis concluded that industrial zones within the city are waning. And yet, regional planning policy calls for the protection of industrial lands in order to continue to provide employment for a growing region.

CNT's Director of Market Research and Innovation David Chandler traveled to the Twin Cities to explain the center’s work on developing industrial land in such environments under the umbrella of cargo-oriented development (COD), as well as the work he is doing thanks to a grant from the McKnight Foundation.

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