Nature Near Transit

Connecting Green Infrastructure and Public Art to Transit Resilience

CNT’s Nature Near Transit Program strives to improve local climate, economic, and cultural resilience in select Chicago-area neighborhoods located near CTA transit stops through community-driven creative placemaking initiatives. The effort aligns with the SPARCC Elevated Chicago target areas for investment and enjoys support from Elevated Chicago and Enterprise Community Partners.

Chicago’s transit system is an incredible community asset, but not all transit stops are created equal. Through this program, CNT works with local community partners and stakeholders to install complementary, site-scale green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) and public art near transit stations to support these areas in becoming destinations for local economic and community development. Both the GSI and public art installations are collaboratively-designed and, where possible, locally-made, to increase the sense of community ownership of the projects.

The GSI projects are meant to be demonstrative in nature, providing some stormwater management benefit, but primarily installed as educational tools to show what needs to be done on larger, distributed scales to reduce community flooding impacts. The public art is meant to thematically represent local cultural priorities, as well as the long-term climate and cultural benefits of investments in sustainable water infrastructure.

Current partners include Garfield Park Community Council, Logan Square Neighborhood Association, LUCHA, OPEN Center for the Arts, Rudd Resources, and Washington Park Development Group.

This program is designed to be replicable, with stormwater management demonstration projects that can scale to include different green infrastructure solutions throughout Chicago, on both publicly and privately-owned land. To help replicate the project outside of Chicago, a learning exchange with SPARCC partners in Atlanta will build regional models and best practices for this and future efforts.

To learn more, please contact Ryan Scherzinger