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 »

 

Rising Gas Prices and Total Diving Costs

Since 2008,  when gas prices reached record highs, CNT’s H+T Affordability Index has highlighted the impacts of gas prices on household transportation costs.  The Total Driving Costs tool allows users to slide the gas price up or down and see how volatility in the price at the pump impacts communities differently. The H+T Affordability Index has long shown that the old “Drive Till You Qualify” real estate mantra fails to capture the higher transportation costs that accompany the... 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 »

 

Working With CBOs for Transportation Equity

Decisions by transportation agencies have often harmed communities that have not been in positions to advocate for themselves or contribute to decision making. Increasingly, the leaders and staff of transportation agencies recognize this problem and are looking for approaches to improve equity in their transportation decisions. We often hear them ask: “We recognize the need to commit to equity. BUT HOW?” While there is more than one answer to this question, one approach has proven to deliver... Read the rest of this entry »

 

Authentic Collaboration: Critical to Equitable Outcomes

Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO), an environmental justice (EJ) organization based in the Little Village neighborhood, and Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT), a research and data analytic planning organization in Chicago, are creating a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) 101 Toolkit for EJ organizations to help them conduct basic mapping and analysis. Throughout toolkit development, the Milwaukee-based EJ organization Milwaukee Water Commons (MWC) is testing to... Read the rest of this entry »

 

Public Agencies are Driving Equity in All Transportation Policy Decisions, Acknowledging More Work Must Be Done

Decisions in the transportation field have often harmed Black and brown communities: for example, freeway construction destroying Black and brown neighborhoods, federal funding policies for public transit that favor rail expansion to affluent suburban communities rather than urban transit service improvements, land use decisions that focus on polluting truck traffic in communities of color, and inequitable traffic law enforcement. To advance equity, we need to push transportation decisions... Read the rest of this entry »

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The Case for More Operations Funding for Transit

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill has been passed by the Senate. That’s an excellent start in addressing our long-neglected physical infrastructure. And now the bill goes back to the House of Representatives for concurrence. In the regular order of business, the House would negotiate and then concur with amendments made in the Senate. But this bipartisan deal did not follow the normal process, essentially negating the ability of House members to negotiate. This is... Read the rest of this entry »

 

Residents Participate in Urban Flooding Data Collection Efforts

The Urban Flooding Baseline Project seeks to clearly define the problem of urban flooding in the Calumet region using available quantitative data sources and first-hand pictorial data from residents to improve flood mitigation plans. At the end of July, we completed the Pilot and Phase 1 of the resident data collection. Each resident data collection leader is assigned a 1.5 mile x 1.5 mile region in the communities for Dolton, Dixmoor, Harvey, Markham, Phoenix, Posen, or Riverdale and is... Read the rest of this entry »

 

Why CNT is Supporting the Campaign to Stop General Iron

Today is Day 12 of a hunger strike led by activists on Chicago’s Southeast side to call attention to the relocation of a major industrial polluter to their community. General Iron, a scrap metal shredder that was repeatedly fined for environmental violations in its former home in Lincoln Park, is awaiting a final permit from the Chicago Department of Public Health to allow it to move its operations to the Southeast side. CNT strongly supports the campaign to stop General Iron, and we urge the... Read the rest of this entry »

 

Shouldering the Burden of an Accumulating Crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted communities around the world. However, Latinx, Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color have been disproportionately impacted due to existing social, environmental, and economic factors that make individuals more likely to have worsened COVID-19 outcomes.  The Link between Land Use, Air, and COVID-19 Racialized land use and lending practices, such as redlining, have disproportionately located heavy industrial development near Black and... Read the rest of this entry »

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