Research & Publications

The National League of Cities strives to strengthen communities, transform and improve cities, and serve as a resource for local elected officials. Our research and publications advance these goals by providing critical data, identifying promising city practices, sharing inspiring and informative stories, and fostering effective solutions and innovation. Through original content such as reports, issue briefs, news articles and blog posts, we explore the issues facing cities today and foster a dialogue that helps city leaders build better communities.

Recent
Nov 28
  • Federal
  • Advocacy
  • Taxation
  • Budget

On November 28, 2017, the National League of Cities sent this letter to Congress signed by almost 800 local elected officials and city advocates urging Congress to invest in cities as the tax reform and Fiscal Year 2018 appropriations negotiations continue. 

  • Federal Advocacy
Nov 15
  • Technology
  • Equity
  • Infrastructure
  • Public Safety
  • Economic Development

As cities embrace a future permeated by technology, local leaders must continually reassert and revisit community values, while ensuring these values are the foundation of new plans, policies, and programs. 

This is particularly true in the areas of infrastructure, public safety and economic development, which are consistently identified as top issues of…

  • Urban Innovation
Nov 13
  • City Government
  • Economic Development
  • Finance

The nation’s smaller cities and towns have a culture, vibrancy and uniqueness all their own.

While innovations such as driverless cars, demand-price parking and data-crunching sensor networks might be pioneered in big urban centers, there is much creativity and dynamic problem solving going on in communities with populations fewer than 50,000 residents—those…

  • Center for City Solutions
Nov 10
  • Pension
  • Retirement
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The state of retirement funding has become an obvious fiscal concern for city governments, especially since the Great Recession.

As pension challenges have become more apparent in recent years, local elected officials have increased expectations to ensure the health and viability of their pension plans. As a result, city leaders must be equipped…

  • Center for City Solutions
Nov 10
Maker
Maker
  • Economic Development
  • Equity

As the maker economy continues to take shape in cities across the country, it is emerging as a potential powerhouse for building strong local economies through creative maker- microbusinesses and small-scale manufacturing.

As this nascent industry of small businesses expands and transforms, city leaders should understand what the maker economy is and how to…

  • Center for City Solutions
Nov 10
MBK Picture
MBK Picture
  • Equity
  • Leadership & Management
  • Community

City leaders are responding to the My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge by tackling the disparities that face our nation’s boys and men of color (BMoC). REAL’s report “The City Leader’s Compass to the My Brother’s Keeper Landscape, highlights a comprehensive set of tangible steps cities can take to change systems and improve outcomes for BMoC.

"I accepted…

  • Race, Equity, and Leadership (REAL)
Nov 08
  • Federal
  • Advocacy

On November 8, 2017, the National League of Cities and 24 State Municipal Leagues sent this letter to Congress expressing our views on the House Tax Cuts and Job Act, a bill that would significantly alter the fiscal basis of federalism as it has existed for over a century since institution of the original 1913 federal tax code. 

Nov 03
Keeping the American Dream Alive
Keeping the American Dream Alive
  • Economic Opportunity
  • Financial Empowerment

Throughout much of our history, children have grown up to reach a higher standard of living than their parents. While this has never been realized by all groups, the hope for a better life lies at the heart of the American Dream—if you work hard, you can be successful.

But now it seems that something fundamental has changed. Many Americans have not been part…

  • Economic Opportunity and Financial Empowerment
Oct 30
Tacoma, Washington
Tacoma, Washington
  • Equity
  • Social Justice
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For the City of Tacoma, the push toward racial equity demonstrates the power that lies in the hands of concerned residents. Over a year before the city government took public action, local leaders were urged by community members to analyze the racial disparities in Tacoma’s hiring practices. After examining the lack of adequate representation in both race and gender among city government…

  • Race, Equity, and Leadership (REAL)
Oct 30
SLP
SLP
  • Equity
  • Social Justice
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Looking at the root causes of racial injustice can be a daunting process for a city, but it can be less intimidating with a partner. St Louis Park, Minnesota, has found a collaboration through the League of Minnesota Cities (LMC) and the Government Alliance on Racial Equity (GARE) as part of their participation in a Minnesota State cohort. This suburb of Minneapolis and its mayor, Jake…

  • Race, Equity, and Leadership (REAL)