About CNT

The Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) is a nationally recognized nonprofit based in Chicago that is a leader in promoting more livable and sustainable cities. CNT’s research, strategies, and solutions are implemented across America and around the world to create more equitable and resilient communities.

Mission & Programs

CNT’s mission is to build more livable and sustainable urban communities. CNT does this by developing and applying strategies that make more efficient and effective use of the urban environment’s undervalued resources and inherent advantages. Cities offer unparalleled efficiencies, social and intellectual capital, economic resources and physical characteristics that can be marshaled and put to better use. These assets, however, often lie dormant—undervalued, underutilized or completely unrecognized by market and institutional structures. Land sits vacant. Infrastructure, both built and natural, is underused. Social capital idles. CNT works to harness these assets, ensuring that the marketplace values them and that communities can capture some of that value and experience tangible economic benefits.

CNT works across disciplines and issues—including transportation and land use, climate change, and water—and engages in three primary activities:

  • Researching and analyzing urban problems and developing information resources, including web-based tools, to change how residents, policymakers and market actors understand and act in response to those problems.
  • Designing and operating economic development ventures to address those problems in innovative ways.
  • Building coalitions to advocate for public policies that could help solve those problems.

CNT has a strong reputation as a leader in promoting urban sustainability, the effective use of existing resources and community assets to improve the health of natural systems and the wealth of people, today and in the future. CNT was honored to be a 2009 recipient of the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions.