Climate & Cultural Resilience program is now Nature Near Transit

  Dedicated volunteer garden stewards gathered at Overton Center for Excellence in Bronzeville on the first day of fall, Saturday, September 23 to bring new life to the rain garden located on the east edge of the former elementary school property, an 8-minute stroll from the 51st Street Green Line station.   Through our Climate and Cultural Resilience program, recently renamed Nature Near Transit to better capture the essence of the work, CNT helped establish the east-... Read the rest of this entry »

 

Evanston Green Homes program launches

CNT partnered more than a year ago with Evanston Development Cooperative and other groups to create the new Green Homes pilot program in two Evanston communities. It uses public funds to provide home upgrades free-of-charge.  Evanston is one of the first communities in the country to launch a program like this.  Homeowners and residents of the pilot program's focus neighborhoods can find out if they are eligible and apply on the new program portal at greenhomes.cnt.org.... Read the rest of this entry »

 

With new civic innovation hub, south suburban leaders focus on ‘technology of getting things done’

“We always think it’s going to be a big movement, a big force, something that’s beyond ourselves that’s going to be our solution when in fact, it’s us– the moms, the grandmoms, the kids,” Lorée Washington, a Riverdale community leader, said during a recent virtual workshop for residents of South Suburban communities where the RainReady project is addressing urban flooding. As we partner with local groups to develop the RainReady Calumet Corridor with support from the Cook County government,... Read the rest of this entry »

 

Southeast Side Climate Impacts: Quantitative data without community input misses the full story

Climate change impacts are felt by individuals and communities all over the world through intense or frequent storms, floods, and increased exposure to air and water pollutants. Who is most impacted by this? Unfortunately, those who are lower-income and have non-white racial or ethnic identities. Chicago’s Southeast Side is one of these communities. Here, residents experience health inequities from their proximity to industrial pollution, like higher rates of heart disease and respiratory... Read the rest of this entry »

 

CEJST is a simple map, with big implications – and attention to cumulative burdens matters.

The Climate and Economic Justice Screening tool, or CEJST for short, is a simple map, with big implications. CEJST identifies disadvantaged census tracts for prioritizing federal funding and informing Justice40, which aims to send “40 percent of the overall benefits of certain Federal investments… [to] disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution. Over the next five years, federal and state agency staff are charged with doling out billions of... Read the rest of this entry »

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Urban Flooding Baseline Tool Explores the ‘Where’ and ‘Why’ of Urban Flooding, and Who Is Most Impacted

CNT’s exploration of urban flooding CNT has worked on urban flooding for several years, focusing specifically on urban flooding because of the realities in Chicago and Illinois more broadly. FEMA's Flood Insurance Rate Maps create floodplains based on flooding from bodies of water. But based on personal experiences and relationships with residents and local professionals, CNT knew that many homes in the Chicagoland area are impacted by flooding despite being outside of flood plains. CNT... Read the rest of this entry »

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Fueling the Electric Vehicle Movement with Equity

This past week, as a member of the Toward Equitable Electric Mobility (TEEM) Illinois cohort, I had the pleasure of attending TEEM’s first in-person annual convening and Forth’s Roadmap Conference in Portland, Oregon. The electric vehicle sector is revved up and eager to expand in the face of the capital to be made and legacies to build, while simultaneously acting in response to climate change. Forth’s Roadmap Conference refocuses the lens, uplifting processes, projects, and... Read the rest of this entry »

 

From Screen Time to Real Time: Understanding Southeast Side stories through today's oral histories

As data analysts and policy professionals, we spend a lot of time at our desks and behind screens, analyzing quantitative data, active or proposed policies and programs, and various written reports and documents. Much of what we analyze and review is -- or becomes -- an aggregation and anonymization of specific places, experience, and impacts, and fails to directly capture the intricacies of an individual’s lived experience. In our work with community-based partners, we’ve committed... Read the rest of this entry »

 

The Problems With the justice40 Screening Tool, and Some Ideas for How to Improve It

The Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) has been a strong supporter of the concept of Justice40 since its announcement in early 2021. The goal of this program is to direct at least 40% of the benefits of federal investment to communities that have historically been left behind. Defining those communities is critical, and the federal government attempted this with the release of the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool in February 2022. Generally, the federal definition of... Read the rest of this entry »

 

How Green Infrastructure Affects Home Values in New Orleans

Green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) is an important tool to build resilience to climate change but needs community support to be effective. In late February, as part of CNT’s continued work to examine the effect of GSI on property values, I joined Leslé Honoré, Managing Director of Strategy and Communications, to discuss this topic with the community of Gentilly in New Orleans. In partnership with Father Tony Ricard and St. Gabriel the Archangel Church, we had the incredible... Read the rest of this entry »

 

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