Archive for the ‘center for neighborhood technology’ Category

Twin Cities-to-Chicago car sharing connection

June 25, 2009

Here’s a nice little plug for I-GO by a transplanted-Chicagoan blogging in Minneapolis. Maybe she can avail herself of Hour Car, a St. Paul-based car-sharing service that’s remarkably similar to I-GO’s business model. They were also launched by a non-profit green org, Neighborhood Energy Connections, that, like I-GO’s parent org Center for Neighborhood Technology (man, even the names sound alike), is invested in energy conservation initiatives and policy work.

One of Hour Car’s staff stopped by our Wicker Park office this week since he was visiting Chicago. Smart guy. They’ve got two full-time staffers and are growing their biz and fleet steadily. They’re also focused on low-emission vehicles.

Hour Car publishes a blog, too, and posted an item on I-GO yesterday.

Thanks, Hour Car compatriots.

And FYI to all I-GO members: If you’re visiting the Twin Cities, you can use Hour Car’s fleet without having to pay a membership sign-up fee. That benefit also applies to our non-profit car-sharing sister companies in Philadelphia (PhillyCarShare) and San Francisco (City CarShare).

Tell ’em I-GO sent you.

Suburban car culture is the carbon culprit

June 22, 2009

Props to Center for Neighborhood Technology (I-GO’s parent org) for the Chicago Sun-Times coverage today of its CO2 mapping study – which proves suburban transportation usage is a far worse carbon culprit than folks living in dense urban areas. I-GO Car Sharing gets a mention, too.

I-GO saddles up for Bike to Work Week

June 18, 2009

The rain hasn’t put a damper on I-GO & CNT’s Bike to Work Week efforts. We were champs in our small biz category last year in this citywide challenge promoted by our pals at the Active Transportation Alliance (formerly the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation). New this year: We’ve got a tandem “taxi bike” in our office atrium to shuttle employees who don’t have bikes of their own. Tomorrow, we’ll be at the culminating rally in Daley Plaza. Pedal on over and give us a honk.

Ray-of-Hope LaHood reinventing transportation model

June 18, 2009

Above, from left to right: CNT Vice President of Policy Jacky Grimshaw, I-GO Car Sharing CEO Sharon Feigon, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, and CNT CEO Kathryn Tholin at the Union League Club in Chicago, where LaHood spoke in May.

Who knew what to think of Ray LaHood when Obama appointed him? Turns out, writes Kaid Benfield of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Secretary of Transportation is quite progressive, indeed, and is adopting the integrated sustainability model long advocated by I-GO’s parent org, the Center for Neighborhood Technology—apparent in such current projects as CNT’s Housing & Transportation Affordability Index. LaHood talks about “location efficiency”; so do we. Seems like a Ray of hope to us.

New study compares emissions of city and suburban households

May 27, 2009

At first glance, cities may appear to be a big source of the greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. But new research by the nonprofit Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT), which compares greenhouse gas emissions of city and suburban households, yields some surprising results.

CNT, which launched I-GO Car Sharing in 2002, looked at emissions of carbon dioxide, a key greenhouse gas, stemming from household vehicle travel in 55 metropolitan areas across the U.S. When measured on a per household basis, it found that the transportation-related emissions of people living in cities and compact neighborhoods can be nearly 70% less than those living in suburbs. See how this compares in your region. (Click on “Household Auto Greenhouse Gas Emissions.”)

“Cities are more location-efficient—meaning key destinations are closer to where people live and work,” said Scott Bernstein, CNT’s President. “They require less time, money, fuel and greenhouse gas emissions for residents to meet their everyday travel needs. People can walk, bike, car-share, take public transit. So residents of cities and compact communities generate less CO2 per household than people who live in more dispersed communities, like many suburbs and outlying areas.

“If you’re deciding where to live, consider moving to an urban area. You’ll help fight global warming by emitting less CO2. And you’re likely to drive less, so you’ll spend less on transportation, saving up to $5,000 annually.”

CNT’s research shows that average transportation costs vary greatly depending on location, from a low of 14% of area household median income in transit-rich, compact communities, to highs of 28% or more in exurban areas where employment, retail, and other amenities are more dispersed.

CNT focused on vehicle travel as a source of emissions, since research shows that transportation accounts for 28% of all greenhouse gases in the U.S. Its work compares the conventional per-acre analysis of greenhouse gas emissions due to vehicle travel with a new per-household view in each metropolitan area it studied. The results suggest that, due to their density and transportation alternatives, cities are a central part of the climate change solution.

The research is an outgrowth of CNT’s Housing + Transportation Affordability Index, which examines several aspects of location efficiency. One is the true cost of housing when household transportation costs are factored in, which vary widely by location. Together, transportation and housing can account for more than 60% of annual household expenses for some working families living in outlying areas—significantly impacting their cost of living and quality of life. The site also illuminates the environmental cost of housing location, which includes impacts like household carbon dioxide emissions.

Since its launch a year ago, the H+T Affordability Index has been expanded to show current CO2 maps, as well as the impact of location and gasoline costs on household budgets between the years 2000 and 2008. It has also been redesigned and enhanced for ease of use and data access.

With generous funding from the Rockefeller Foundation, the index will be expanded to cover more than 330 metropolitan areas in the U.S. later this year.

Founded in 1978, CNT is a Chicago-based nonprofit organization that works nationally to advance urban sustainability by researching, inventing and testing strategies that use resources more efficiently and equitably. Its programs focus on climate, energy, natural resources, transportation, and community development. CNT is one of eight nonprofits selected from around the world to be recognized by a 2009 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.