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 »

 

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 »

 

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 »

 

Growing Community at LUCHA’s Tierra Linda House

It was raining – great for the new rain garden, but not so great for a community gardening day. Would anyone come? Hopeful, we set up the tents and laid out the sandwiches, and parents and youth started arriving a little after noon.   "We were so thrilled that families and volunteers showed up, despite the morning rain! It was truly a great opportunity to bond with the community organizations that supported these efforts and the tenants and community members that will... Read the rest of this entry »

 

Public Art Installations Meet Green Stormwater Infrastructure

When Overton Elementary School, located in Chicago’s Washington Park neighborhood, was closed in 2013, the future use of the campus was unknown. Many of the 43 schools that were shuttered in 2013 are still vacant today despite early promises that the school campuses would be transformed into community amenities. Overton was purchased by Washington Park Development Group, helmed by Ghian Foreman in 2015, and he has worked in partnership with Borderless Studio, founded and managed... Read the rest of this entry »

 

Statement From CNT on Equity and Systemic Racism

Black lives matter. Structural racism has enabled law enforcement to use incarceration and lethal violence upon Black men, women, and children, over-and-over, for centuries. These are people with names and families and stories. The current protests give voice to the suffering and righteous anger of Black communities across the nation. We humbly stand in solidarity and allyship with this movement. We will continue our internal journey of pursuing racial equity and justice through our work as... Read the rest of this entry »

 

What Can Communities Do About Lead in Drinking Water?

From inventories to public education, here's how local leaders can take action on lead An estimated 6 million leaded service lines deliver drinking water to households across the United States, and when these lines leach lead into drinking water, it poses a serious public health problem. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, states and cities are working to issue moratoriums on water shutoffs and reconnect service to those that have been shut off—but it’s important to... Read the rest of this entry »

 

Cultural Engagement Makes Stormwater Investments Successful

As summers grow hotter and rainstorms increase in frequency and severity, it’s more important than ever to promote and invest in solutions that improve local climate resilience. However, governmental solutions often value pipes over natural permeability and engineering over community engagement. And, where nature-based stormwater solutions are installed, many residents are at risk of displacement due to increasing property values. While there’s no quick fix to this challenge, CNT, through... Read the rest of this entry »

 

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