About Us

An Innovations Center for Urban Sustainability

Founded in 1978, the Center for Neighborhood Technology is a leader in promoting more livable and sustainable urban communities. In fact, our work focused on sustainable development before the term became as popular as it is today. As a creative think-and-do-tank, we research, invent, and test urban strategies that use resources more efficiently and more equitably.

Over the years, CNT’s work, especially in the areas of climate, energy, water, transportation and community development, has fueled 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.

CNT is an “innovations center for urban sustainability.” We approach our work by participating in three primary activities:

  • Researching urban problems to build knowledge through tools and activities that change how residents, policymakers, and market actors respond to issues such as efficient use of resources, strategies for reducing pollution, or ways to improve public transportation. Our studies are readily available for use by residents, policymakers, students, and other researchers.
  • Building coalitions to advocate for public policies that can help address urban sustainability issues.
  • Designing, developing, and operating economic development demonstration projects to address urban sustainability in innovative ways.

Our Ventures

CNT launched two nonprofits that advance our mission:

  • CNT Energy, an organization that develops and implements initiatives to help consumers and communities control energy costs and reduce energy use.
  • IGO CarSharing*, a membership-based car-sharing organization that provides hourly rental of a fleet of cars located across Chicago and its surrounding suburbs.

Strategic Joint Partnerships

CNT has ongoing long-term relationships with a number of organizations with complementary missions.

  • With the Center for Transit-Oriented Development (CTOD), CNT works on a number of studies for communities seeking to maximize transit resources through more targeted development near transit, especially development that can serve lower- and moderate-income households. Studies were undertaken for the Bay Area, Seattle, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Denver, New Mexico and Australia.
  • With Reconnecting America, CNT continues to promote a national policy for intercity transportation.
  • As a co-founder and leader in the Surface Transportation Policy Project (STPP) coalition, CNT and the coalition work to preserve basic federal protections that ensure citizen participation in transportation plans “be early and continuing.” The coalition also helped build public understanding about the importance of efficient, intermodal transportation and its role in reducing the cost of living.

Leading By Example

Our LEED-Platinum (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building demonstrates how we work—from innovation to implementation—within a framework that values places.

* The carsharing assets of IGO were acquired by Enterprise Holdings on May 28, 2013.

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