Chris Bentley

Chris Bentley is a freelance reporter and radio producer based in Washington, D.C. Follow him at cabentley.com.

The Dirty, Noisy Power Behind Those Street-Fair Tacos

In many cities, summer means outdoor concerts and street fairs. It also means the polluting generators that power them. So how bad for the environment are they?

How Chicago Turns Sewage Into Power

Chicago’s wastewater authority plans to slash its energy bill by using bacteria to convert sewage into natural gas.   

Why More Seniors Are Forming Their Own 'Villages'

Since the founding of Beacon Hill Village in 2002, this model of aging in place has spread to 40 U.S. states.

How Gary, Indiana, Got Serious About Tackling Blight

The mayor of Gary is determined to stop a tide of vacant, neglected buildings in her post-industrial city. Data-rich parcel mapping is the first step.

Can Boomers Make Cohousing Mainstream?

Popular in northern Europe, cohousing is still a fringe option in the U.S. But the number of cohousing communities here is set to climb, thanks to Baby Boomers.

Welcome to the Startup Tijuana

With the violence of the drug war behind it, the border city is experiencing a boom of arts and startup activity, spurred by the group Reactivando Espacios.  

In Southwest Chicago, Environmental Groups Must Also Grapple With a Sluggish Economy

After working together to shut down a pair of coal plants, three grassroots organizations no longer see exactly eye to eye on the best way forward for their community.

The Economic Case for a New Chicago Area Trail

Steve Buchtel pitched the 26-mile Cal-Sag Trail, which will stitch together disparate suburbs of Chicago, as offering benefits beyond recreation.

How Cincinnati's Pro-Streetcar Campaigners Won in the End

Ryan Messer and his grassroots group Believe in Cincinnati never took no for an answer.