"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has"

Margaret Mead, Anthropologist
(used with permission)

"If you don't like the news .... go out and make some of your own !!"

Wes "Scoop" Nisker, Newscaster


Government is a slow and tedious process. While it often includes citizen and neighborhood involvement, non-governmental, private organizations have created movements and interesting groups which can create positive change in our cities and towns.

I am fascinated by the way groups are created and how they influence public decision making. This blog merely recognizes them and forwards the description of these groups from their own websites.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Center for Neighborhood Technology

Location: Nationwide

Website: www.cnt.org

Founded in 1978, the Center for Neighborhood Technology has been 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 paid off by fueling 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.

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.

- IGOSM CarSharing, a membership-based car sharing organization that provides hourly rental of a fleet of cars located across Chicago and its surrounding suburbs.

Our Urban Practice Consulting offers a unique menu of tools and strategies which can be applied individually or collectively to urban development and redevelopment

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. The partners used the findings of its late ’03 report, “Missed Connections: Financing Intermodal Transportation” to educate policy-makers about what resources could be used to connect the separately functioning transportation modes into a more integrated and efficient transportation system.

As a co-founder and leader in the Surface Transportation Policy Project (STPP) coalition, CNT spent much of 2004 working to educate constituents about the federal “highway bill,” up for reauthorization after lapsing in 2003.

Specifically, the coalition worked to preserve basic federal protections like that which ensures that citizen participation in transportation plans “be early and continuing.” The coalition also helped build public understanding about the importance of efficient, intermodal transportation to reducing the cost of living.

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

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