For almost 35 years, CNT has been able to research, measure, implement and invent new approaches to urban challenges. We have developed innovative tools that help individuals to make better choices and communities to make better plans.  Here are just a few of our highlights of 2012!

By the numbers

10 years: To celebrate 10 years as Chicago’s only home town, non-profit car sharing organization, I-GO hosted transportation visionaries to discuss the future of getting around.

June 28: CNT Senior Engineer Bill Eyring’s retirement celebration brought in wonderful stories of his time spent greening the Chicago region and June 28 was officially named “Bill Eyring Day” in the City of Chicago.

10,000 Units Retrofitted: CNT Energy’s “Energy Savers” program was awarded a “Vision Award” for its continued success. The program has retrofitted 10,000 units—saving over 2 million gas therms and an average annual savings of $10,000 to building owners, also leading to the creating nearly 400 jobs.

9-peat: Though we promote the power of two wheels all year long at CNT, Bike to Work Week in Chicago is our favorite week to celebrate the bicycle as a form of transportation. This year, we shared some of our secrets to successful participation!

$100/month: The Equity Express financial education workshops have saved participants money on their household expenses. Equity Express demonstrates that by making simple, environmentally mindful changes in energy, transportation, food, and communication costs, a household can increase its financial security while enjoying a healthy, sustainable lifestyle.

36 vehicles: I-GO Car Sharing unveiled plans to have a fleet of 36 all-electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles—the largest electric vehicle fleet in the Midwest.

50 cities; 100 presentations: CNT President Scott Bernstein traveled around the country speaking about H+T (housing and transportation), how to redefine economic progress and build sustainable communities.

208 Press Mentions: CNT was cited in such media outlets as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CBS Chicago, Chicago Tribune, Switchboard NRDC blog, and The Atlantic Cities.

2246: Number of Facebook fans

5191: Twitter followers

At the Forefront of Sustainable Community Planning

At the Neighborhood Level-

Created new green spaces in Chicago neighborhoods, resulting in accessible community open spaces that also reduce stormwater run-off in backyards and basements and engage community members through hands-on participation.

Gathered data from community members through our flood reduction survey and put the results to work with two families who decided to build a shared rain garden, reducing the threat of flooding by directing roof runoff water away from their single family homes and keeping their yards free of standing water.

At the City Level-

Convened a group of technology and urban visionaries to discuss how technology can address urban problems in a sustainable way.

Hosted our first Urban Sustainability Hackathon, bringing together participants from Chicago’s civic, business, and IT communities. The results were six projects that address significant issues of urban sustainability in innovative ways.

At the Regional Level-

Released Prospering in Place, a call to action that presents a new vision for building economic prosperity in the Chicago region with an analysis that identifies place-based transportation and community development investments that can reinvigorate economic growth.

Launched the “Smart Water for Smart Regions” initiative to transform water service and infrastructure in the Great Lakes region. The initiative will help communities deliver water services to homes and businesses more efficiently, effectively, and transparently, while sustaining the region’s water resources.

At the National Level-

Spread policy expertise in transit-oriented development (TOD) and cargo-oriented development (COD) to cities like Madison, WI, Knoxville, TN, Greenville, SC, Hartford, CT and Springfield, MA, Pittsburgh, PA, helping planners, officials, and local stakeholders make informed development decisions to ensure that each community achieves a sustainable and prosperous future.

Tools and Information that Save People Money

At the Neighborhood Level-

Selected to manage the Chicago Sustainable Backyards Program (SusBy) which encourages Chicagoans to create more environmentally-friendly landscapes in their yards, as well as in community and school gardens.

Identified real cost-savings opportunities for building owners and residents in multifamily buildings through energy efficiency upgrades, potentially resulting in up to $3.4 billion cost-savings nationwide.

At the City Level-

Surveyed the water-loss control policies of a select number of utilities within the eight Great Lakes states to help gain a better understanding the cost to society of not appropriately investing in our water services.

Selected to provide technical assistance to two Midwest communities in learning how to use CNT-designed tools to quantify and advocate for the benefits of green infrastructure as a means of stormwater management.

At the Regional Level-

Partnered with utility companies and city government programs to help accelerate the number of retrofits being completed in single family homes and multifamily apartment buildings, which account for half of the city’s energy consumption.

Launched “Going Places”, a policy blog by CNT Vice President of Policy Jacky Grimshaw, complete with Stories about how transit and the transportation system can work better in regions all over the country.

At the National Level-

Released the latest version of the Housing + Transportation (H+T®) Affordability Index, using the most up-to-date Census data, which found that most places are unaffordable when it comes to combined housing and transportation costs.

Released “Losing Ground”, which draws attention to the other, often hidden, factors that contribute to a growing cost of place for American households.

Policy Analysis and Development

At the State Level-

Participated in an Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) workgroup to develop specific recommendations that favor a cost-effective, green infrastructure-based approach to development and redevelopment that could save developers and local governments money.

At the Regional Level-

Piloted the nation’s first wet weather ‘Wetrofit™’ service, modeled after CNT’s experience in energy retrofit services, which aims to deliver coordinated, tailor-made solutions to municipalities looking to retrofit neighborhoods and properties with green infrastructure.

At the National Level-

Participated in the newest iteration of the Presidential Climate Action Project (PCAP), which provides a roadmap of how the President of the United States can improve the nation’s climate and energy security, specifically executive branch actions that can be taken over the next four years.

Partnered with American Rivers and the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative to develop a new way to manage stormwater in developed urban settings: the Green Infrastructure Portfolio Standard (GIPS), which will help cities scale up their green infrastructure, especially in urbanized areas in need of stormwater management methods.

Past years:






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