The Urban Sustainability Tech Challenge

The Urban Sustainability Tech Challenge focuses on the use of data science to understand and propose solutions to issues faced by urban communities.

For seven years, CNT's Urban Sustainability Tech Challenge has brought together community organizations, data scientists, students, and corporate partners to understand and find solutions to Chicago-area community issues.  In 2019, CNT connected these groups with our Urban Analytics Department in a joint effort to quantify effects of specific factors on the living costs of low-income communities through the following model: 


As they used data analysis to explore identified problems, students had the opportunity to gain experience in data science and see firsthand its applications to local community issues. Community and corporate support, along with assistance from CNT, offered guidance to solidify connections to the community problems they examined. The Challenge concluded in December 2019 with an evening of final presentations, hosted by Motorola Solutions Foundation at the Motorola Solutions Innovation Center in Chicago.  For a recap of 2019, read CNT's Manager of Outreach and Public Engagement Rebecca Raines' blog


Planning for the 2020 Urban Sustainability Tech Challenge is underway, targeting fall of 2020.  Want to get involved? Contact Rebecca Raines at if you are interested or have any questions.