The Center for Neighborhood Technology is a non-profit organization, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, which is committed to sustainable development and livable urban communities. CNT, as an “innovations center for urban sustainability”, researches, invents, and tests urban strategies that use resources more efficiently and equitably. Over the years, CNT’s work, especially in the areas of climate, energy, water, transportation and community development, has paid off by fueling a generation of community development and learning institutions, earning CNT a reputation as an economic innovator and leader in the field of creative sustainable development.The organization was founded in 1978 by Scott Bernstein, Stanley Hallett, and Dr. John Martin. It has recently grown to include an office in San Francisco, California. CNT has been responsible for developing a variety of projects. It launched two non-profits to advance its mission; Elevate Energy, an organization that develops and implements initiatives to help consumers and communities control energy costs and reduce energy use; and I-GO, a membership-based car sharing organization that provides hourly rental of a fleet of cars located across Chicago and its surrounding suburbs. It also created Wireless Community Networks, a wireless internet access project which uses a mesh network. In addition, their Urban Practice Consulting offers a unique menu of tools and strategies which can be applied individually or collectively to urban development and redevelopment issues. Wikipedia.
News Article | February 15, 2017
New Partnership Committed to Transforming Half-Mile Radius Around Transit Stations into Hubs of Opportunity CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - February 15, 2017) - L-Evated Chicago -- a new collaborative that will use existing transit to create hubs of opportunity -- today announced that Chicago was selected to join the Strong, Prosperous, And Resilient Communities Challenge (SPARCC). SPARCC is a three-year, $90 million initiative that will bolster local groups and leaders in six cities in their efforts to ensure that major new investments in transportation, housing, health, and sustainability are made in ways that improve equity, health, and environmental outcomes for all residents. L-Evated Chicago is a diverse collaborative representing community-based and civic organizations, nonprofit policy and advocacy groups, community development financial institutions, and the City of Chicago. The collaborative is committed to transforming the half-mile radius around transit stations into hubs of opportunity and connection across our region's vast transit system. L-Evated Chicago views station areas as optimal locations for planning, programming, urban design, and development to address the region's deeply rooted disparities in racial equity, public health, and climate resiliency. L-Evated Chicago will align capital, policy, and programmatic resources with the unique interests and needs of communities. The SPARCC initiative chose L-Evated Chicago following a competitive application process in 2016. The collaborative has been awarded $1 million in direct grant and technical assistance funds over the next three years. Collectively, the six national SPARCC sites will have access to $70 million of financing and $14 million in additional programmatic support. The initial six SPARCC sites include: Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Memphis, and San Francisco Bay Area. These funds offer the opportunity to align and leverage several new local initiatives -- such as the City of Chicago's Neighborhood Opportunity Bonus program that leverages investment in downtown to support redevelopment in the neighborhoods; the City Treasurer's Chicago Community Catalyst Fund to invest $100 million in projects and businesses in underserved neighborhoods; and the Chicago Community Trust's new strategic focus on race and equity. "We have great community resources on the south side along the Green line. We have a vibrant arts and culture scene -- and nothing less than a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with the Obama Presidential Library," said Ghian Foreman, head of the Washington Park Development Group and one of the eight groups that comprise L-Evated Chicago. "With the SPARCC initiative, we will be able to reach further into our communities to make sure future investments build on and respect our existing community efforts and assets." In addition to neighborhoods within a half-mile radius of the Green line south, L-Evated Chicago will focus its outreach and development efforts on communities near the Green line west, Blue line northwest, and Pink line southwest. "Chicago's long history of racial and economic segregation is no secret, and past investment decisions and policies have too often reinforced that segregation," said Juan Carlos Linares, executive director of Latin United Community Housing Association (LUCHA), a member of L-Evated Chicago. "By working both within and across our communities -- and leveraging our transit system to enhance and connect our efforts -- our SPARCC collaboration with community stakeholders will serve as an important tool to reverse that legacy and advance a more equitable and prosperous Chicago." Other members of L-Evated Chicago include: The Chicago Community Trust, where the initiative will be housed; Enterprise Community Partners Chicago and IFF, both local nonprofit lenders; Center for Neighborhood Technology and the Metropolitan Planning Council, leading policy and planning groups; University of Chicago Arts and Public Life, an arts and culture community partner; and the City of Chicago Department of Public Health. "In the past, policy, programmatic, and site-specific decisions about how and where to invest have been done in silos and all too often led to deeper poverty, disinvestment, and health risks for people of color and low-income communities," said Dr. Julie Morita, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health. "This is a critical moment when significant health, transit, and real estate investments are coming, or are already underway, and people of all races and incomes can benefit. We are excited to have Chicago as one of the SPARCC sites and look forward to seeing the results of these efforts to positively impact our city." "The threats from climate change are being borne largely by low-income people and communities of color," said Shelley Poticha, director of urban solutions at the Natural Resources Defense Council, one of the national partners of SPARCC. "If we continue business as usual, health and economic disparities like this will continue to grow. Our SPARCC cities and regions are helping to change that by creating a vision of opportunity that takes community revitalization to a new level." In addition to funding support, each SPARCC site has access to an extensive learning network and advisory services from a range of experts to help advance local efforts. SPARCC is an initiative of Enterprise Community Partners, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the Low Income Investment Fund, and the Natural Resources Defense Council, with funding support from the Ford Foundation, The JPB Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and The California Endowment. Long term, SPARCC's intention is for other cities, communities, and regions to adopt similar approaches to achieving more just economic, health, and environmental outcomes, using the success of SPARCC sites as a model. About L-Evated Chicago L-Evated Chicago is a partnership of organizations committed to transforming the half-mile radius around transit stations into hubs of opportunity and connection across our region's vast transit system. We view station areas as the optimal location for planning, programming, urban design and development to converge to address the region's deeply rooted disparities in racial equity, public health, and climate resiliency. L-Evated Chicago's founding partners are: The Chicago Community Trust, Enterprise Community Partners Chicago, IFF, Center for Neighborhood Technology, Metropolitan Planning Council, City of Chicago Department of Public Health, Latin United Community Housing Association, Washington Park Development Group, and Arts + Public Life. About SPARCC The Strong, Prosperous, And Resilient Communities Challenge -- or SPARCC -- is supporting local efforts to make sure that everyone benefits from major new investments in the places we live, work, and play. By supporting locally driven initiatives, SPARCC aims to improve equity, health, and environmental outcomes to positively shape our cities and regions for generations. SPARCC is an initiative of Enterprise Community Partners, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the Low Income Investment Fund, and the Natural Resources Defense Council, with funding support from the Ford Foundation, The JPB Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and The California Endowment. For more information on SPARCC and the selected jurisdictions, please visit sparcchub.org.
Haas P.M.,Center for Neighborhood Technology
Housing Policy Debate | Year: 2016
It is now accepted that to have an understanding of housing affordability one must consider not only housing costs, but also the transportation costs associated with that household location. To make this information readily accessible to the public, the United States government created an Internet resource, the Location Affordability Portal – Version 2 (www.locationaffordability.info), to provide housing and transportation costs for every neighborhood in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Although the statistical model at the heart of this resource was designed for predictive accuracy, its design and parameter estimates can provide additional insights into the interaction of housing cost and transportation choices (and thus its cost). This study describes the development and explores the policy implications (and limitations) of this structural equations model, the Location Affordability Index Model – Version 2 (LAIM2). © 2016 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Center for Neighborhood Technology | Date: 2012-07-03
Downloadable electronic data files and databases, namely, bus and passenger train schedules and routes, for use with computer software. Providing a web site featuring information on the subject of transportation, namely, bus and passenger train schedules and routes; providing a database in the field of transportation, namely, bus and passenger train schedules. Application service provider services, namely, hosting, managing, developing, and maintaining applications, software, and web sites, in the transportation field, namely, bus and passenger train schedules and routes.
Center for Neighborhood Technology | Date: 2010-06-22
Biodegradable planting matrices for horticultural use for organizing and planting garden plant plugs, namely, biodegradable ground templates made from paper, peat and straw into which plant plugs are placed for planting. Garden plant plugs consisting of living garden plants and soil medium sold as a unit. Online information service, namely, providing information to gardeners on the subject of garden plant selection and landscape garden design.
News Article | April 3, 2015
Do you consider yourself a transit nerd? The Center for Neighborhood Technology has a doozy of a challenge for you: A quiz that asks you to name a US city based on a map of its public transportation system. The rub: It only shows you the stops. You can’t see the routes. The online quiz is simple. Each stop is represented by a dot, which is assigned a color based on how often the stop is in use. Darker dots are higher frequency. You can also choose higher levels of difficulty—which, intriguingly, will introduce you smaller cities that you might not even know had such extensive transit systems. Luckily, each quiz presents you with four potential cities to choose from, so you’re able to make a somewhat educated guess if you know a little about the urban design of the city itself. But some of these are still really hard! How’d you do? [CNT via Citylab]
News Article | September 26, 2008
America is built around the automobile. Big cities may have decent transit systems, but most of us spend a lot of time slogging through traffic on a highway. Say what you will, but the National Highway System is a crucial part of our transportation infrastructure. Trouble is, it wasn’t built with city dwellers in mind. Hulking expressways and overpasses too often bisect our cities, dividing neighborhoods, blocking access to waterfronts and promoting blight. Many were built decades ago, and as they fall into disrepair, some activists say they should be razed entirely. Replacing them with neighborhood-friendly boulevards would, they say, foster revitalization, restore communities and save taxpayers billions in construction costs. "There’s a whole generation of elevated highways in cities that are at the end of their design life," says John Norquist, head of the Congress for the New Urbanism. "Instead of rebuilding them at enormous expense, cities have an opportunity to undo what proved to be major urban-planning blunder." It’s a novel idea that’s worked in cities like San Francisco, Portland and Milwaukee. Norquist has a list of other cities that oughtta fire up the wrecking ball and take down a highway. "Freeways Without Futures" outlines 10 urban highways that have long since outlived their usefulness. It was compiled by the Congress for the New Urbanism and the Center for Neighborhood Technology, and it focuses on those areas with the best chance of removing a freeway and replacing it with a boulevard. "The Federal Highway Fund just received a short-term bailout," Norquist says. "The money that does exist can be invested much more efficiently in surface streets and transit." This is not an abstract idea for Norquist. He was mayor of Milwaukee when the city replaced the Park East Freeway with McKinley Boulevard six years ago. CNU says averaged assessed land values in the area climbed 180 percent between 2001 and 2006. San Francisco saw similar gains after razing the Embarcadero and Central freeways. "Fifty years ago, when there was flight from cities, industrialized waterfronts seemed like a convenient place to run freeways," Norquist says. "The result for the neighborhoods has been blight. Cities like San Francisco that have removed freeways and reclaimed waterfronts have turned them into magnets for people and investment." CNU says the following cities could enjoy similar benefits if they’d raze these 10 highways: That’s the list. What’s yours? Use the Reddit widget below to tell us which highways you would tear down, why you’d raze it and what you’d put in its place. Tell us what freeway you’d take down and why, and vote for those you agree with. While you can submit as many suggestions as you want, you can only submit one every 30 minutes. No HTML allowed.
News Article | January 21, 2010
If we’d spent as much federal stimulus money on public transportation as we spent on highways, we would have created twice as much work and put a bigger dent in the unemployment rate. That’s the analysis of stimulus spending by Smart Growth America, the Center for Neighborhood Technology and U.S. PIRG, the public-policy lobbying group. Smart Growth America found that every billion dollars spent on public transportation produced 16,419 job-months, while the same amount spent on highway infrastructure projects produced 8,781 job-months. Now it is warning that the Jobs for Main Street Act of 2010 (.pdf), the $154 billion jobs bill the House of Representatives passed last month, could make the same mistake in funding the wrong priorities. The legislation, which the Senate is expected to take up early this year, would finance everything from renovating schools to putting more cops on the street. It is funded in part with money set aside for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, also known as the Wall Street bailout. The bill allocates $27.1 billion for highways and other surface transportation and just $8.4 billion for public transportation. “When the Senate takes the bill up and it goes back to the House, they ought to take a look at their own data and readjust the proportions,” William Schroeer, state policy director for Smart Growth America, told Wired.com. “Since it’s a jobs bill, that seems to us to be something they ought to think very seriously about.” By splitting public transportation and highway funding equally, Schroeer said, the bill could provide 71,415 more job-months of work than it would by favoring highway spending. That is enough work to give 6,000 more people full-time year-round employment. According to SGA, public transportation spending leads more directly to job growth than highway spending for several reasons. First, less money is spent acquiring land, which means more money is spent actually building something. Second, all those buses, trains and subways need people to operate them and maintain the infrastructure. And third, public transit requires a workforce with more diverse skills than highway construction. Even better, Schroeer said, public transit can help save jobs because it allows people to get to work — and those are jobs Smart Growth America didn’t include in its analysis. When transit programs are cut or don’t exist to begin with, “there’s a negative impact on folks’ mobility to get to work, to get to education,” Schroeer said. “It’s part of the fabric of communities, whether you use it or not.” One reason public transit got short shrift in the stimulus package and some policymakers don’t see the merit of such projects is the misconception that transit projects aren’t “shovel-ready,” and — as a result — job growth would lag. The report proves that myth wrong. “In today’s environment, there are so many public transportation needs, and as a result there are so many public transportation projects that are ready to go, there’s no difference in the spend rates between roads and public transportation,” Schroeer said. The federal money being thrown around in Washington includes a provision that a debt-ridden transit agency can’t use it to pay off existing liabilities or, say, build a new subway line it will have to shut it down when operating expenses become cost-prohibitive. That provides a measure of assurance that the money will be spent creating jobs and financing sustainable transit projects. “The federal assistance that’s being discussed could be used for a number of things, but debt is not one of them.” Schroeer said. “You only get reimbursed for capital construction, maintenance or preventative maintenance — and you can spend 10 percent of the capital on operating expenses. None of that is debt.” The bottom line is, investing heavily in public transportation puts more people to work while creating or improving infrastructure we need more of. It’s a win-win. Photo: Portland, Oregon, and its transit agency TriMet used $1.6 million in federal stimulus funds to repair bricks in 20 intersections, a project TriMet says prevented 23 layoffs. Flickr/Thomas Le Ngo.
News Article | August 12, 2015
Is Chicago emerging as the make-it-or-break-it hub for digital tech innovation in the automobile industry? After this summer’s cascade of car-centered launches and acquisitions, it sure feels like it. Here’s a quick recap: Since the beginning of June, Uber picked Chicago to start building 1,000,000 new driving jobs for women globally. In July, four new car apps launched in the city during one week alone, joining an already crowded parking lot of car-related tech platforms. Just last week, leading European carmakers headed to Chicago to pick up Nokia’s HERE (a digital cartography company formerly known as Navteq) for a whopping $1.8 billion. And now, another auto tech company is rolling into town— this time, as part of a $715,000 two-year study on peer-to-peer carsharing in the city. San Francisco’s Getaround, which has already raised around $40 million in funding, launched this week in Chicago. Getaround allows users to rent their unused cars out to other members. Renters can expect to pay an average of $8/hour or $60/day. The launch coincides with Getaround's participation in the federally-funded study through the city’s Shared-Use Mobility Center (SUMC) and the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT). “The City of Chicago has long been a leader in using innovative ideas to expand quality, safe transportation options – from our popular bike share system to ridesharing – and the fact that Chicago has been chosen for this important new study on carsharing underscores that leading role,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a statement about the study. “From the success of our bike sharing program to our many investments to build a 21st century mass transit system, Chicago will continue leading the way forward when it comes to identifying the best ideas for making neighborhoods safer, healthier, and more economically vibrant.” The Federal Highway Administration will fund the study, though that money will be administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Chicago Department of Transportation. Additional funding support will also be provided by CNT. “The main goal of peer-to-peer carsharing is to make it possible to live without owning a car and overall, to make much more efficient use of vehicles that people already own,” said Sharon Feigon, SUMC’s executive director and former CEO of Chicago’s IGO CarSharing. Feigon added that in Chicago, cars sit unused almost 95 percent of the time — a number that’s slightly higher than the national average. The study plans to explore the impact and efficacy of peer-to-peer carsharing across Chicago, in areas ranging from low-density suburban communities like Evanston and lower-income neighborhoods like Bridgeport or Pilsen to what Feigon called “closed network communities” like large apartment complexes. Using Getaround’s innovative Getaround Connect technology, SUMC can collect anonymous trip data in order to help make appropriate policies and program decisions about carsharing as the sharing economy continues to excel. “We’re thrilled and honored (to be apart of the study with the SUMC),” said Getaround founder Jessica Scorpio. “They do really good work in Chicago, and they’re definitely a research leader. Some of the work we’ll be doing together will set the standards that will allow carsharing to become even more prevalent throughout the US and globally.” Scorpio said using Getaround is safe, convenient, and backed by $1 million of auto insurance coverage. Users simply download the free app to get registered as a member. And the service is also good for the socially-conscious. “With Getaround, you’re better optimizing cars that already exist,” Scorpio said. “You’re giving money directly to your neighbor, and you’re getting cars off the road, which helps reduce congestion and improve air quality.” Chicago is Getaround’s seventh venture into a new market after its 2011 launch at TechCrunch’s Disrupt NYC. They’re celebrating that launch at an event next Thursday, August 19. The company already has 8,000 members in the Chicagoland area, and their goal is to have over 1,000 cars — from convertibles and smaller city cars to pickup trucks — registered in the city. Scorpio said at least 300 of those cars will be used in the study. Getaround currently has about 100 team members, and they’re hiring for new positions in Chicago. Have a tip for us or know of a company that deserves coverage? Email us via firstname.lastname@example.org
News Article | April 28, 2009
Two Chicago-based groups and one in the Caribbean have been given MacArthur grants for their work involved sustainable technology and neighborhoods. Each will get $650,000 in the annual MacArthur grants to non-profits. 1) Caribbean Natural Resource Institute – Port of Spain, Trinidad. For over 30 years, the Caribbean Natural Resource Institute (CANARI) has championed biodiversity conservation, built alliances among the region’s diverse island nations and organizations. They work to harmonize needs of people and the health of their coastal environment. It's protected watersheds, ensured a role for civil society in managing threatened natural resources, designed innovative training programs and provided clear-sighted analysis in community-based tourism, sustainable fisheries and forestry. It is currently playing a leading role in helping governments and civil society in the Caribbean deal effectively with the extraordinary challenges of the climate crisis. 2) Center for Neighborhood Technology - Chicago, Illinois. The Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) uses cutting-edge research to develop environmental sustainability and economic health in cities. CNT works with cities and regions to analyze greenhouse gas emissions and identify mitigation strategies. Other projects: a Housing and Transportation Affordability Index; I-GO, a membership-based car sharing organization; and the Preservation Compact Energy Savers Program, which offers energy audits and low-cost loans to retrofit affordable rental housing. 3) Chicago Community Loan Fund - Chicago, Illinois. The Chicago Community Loan Fund (CCLF) is a leading resource for small and mid-size real estate developers and nonprofits in Chicago. CCLF provides low-cost, flexible financing and technical assistance to encouraging use of sustainable building technology. In 2008, CCLF celebrated the opening of Phase I of Whistler Crossing, a 132-unit, environmentally-friendly affordable housing development, at a time when the area faced a 13 percent unemployment rate.