Post by Henderson
At MASI, we believe that the point of starting a science organization is to benefit people. To give them information that they, otherwise, wouldn’t have. To help them to look at and interact with the world just a little differently.
Well, it should be.
Though many of these organizations begin with altruistic intentions, many just aren’t as effective as they could be.
Whether their methods or mission don’t fit or the competition for providing similar services is too overwhelming, a number of startups find themselves at a severe disadvantage on the road to success.
Based in Chicago, The Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) is one organization that has beat these odds. Operating since 1978, CNT uses rigorous research to bring about practical changes in a myriad of disciplines from climate change to energy to community development. A self-proclaimed “innovation center for urban sustainability,” CNT is all about using science to benefit the community and make it more cost-effective and efficient.
Never heard of them, you say?
Well, I know you’ve heard of I-GO, the non-profit car sharing initiative started by CNT in 2002. The whole point of the enterprise is to create a seamless and integrated transportation system that reduces transportation congestion and greenhouse gases in the city.
But they do much more than that. Check out this video of Governor Quinn signing a bill supported by CNT’s transportation research.
They are, after all, a think-and-do tank. Just last year, they were integral players in many initiatives, and here’s the short list:
- Energy and Emissions Profiles – documents community-wide energy usage and emissions for 283 municipalities in the Chicago region.
- What We Learned From the Stimulus – showed that stimulus spending on public transportation was more effective at job creation versus spending on highways.
Designing Usable Data
- Abogo – helps would-be homeowners determine the true cost of transportation.
- H + T Index – just expanded to 337 communities and helps determine household affordability when paired with transportation costs.
- Helped to ensure funding for green projects in an existing Illinois EPA bill.
- Assisting coordination of a $25 million dollar federal grant that will fund regional energy efficiency retrofits, leverage local investments, and create more than 2,000 jobs.