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
Aug 16
  • Social Justice

In response to last Saturday's tragic incident in Charlottesville, Virginia, the National League of Cities has called on cities to issue a statement or formal resolution affirming their commitment to values of equity, fairness, inclusion and justice.

NLC’s Racial Equity and Leadership team, in partnership with the Center for Social Inclusion and the Government Alliance for Race and…

  • Race, Equity, and Leadership (REAL)
Aug 04
  • Youth & Family
  • Early Childhood

National League of Cities and the Center for the Study of Social Policy are currently working with partner communities to pilot the Early Learning Community Action Guide in preparation for wider release in 2018. These materials expand upon Early Learning Communities: Building Blocks for Success, released in 2016 and available here. Please contact Katie Whitehouse at whitehouse@nlc.org with any…

Aug 03
  • Veterans Homelessness

The Mayors Challenge is a network of 611 elected officials, including 521 mayors, 83 county and city officials, and seven governors who have made a permanent commitment to ensure homelessness is rare, brief, and non-recurring, beginning with veterans. 

Here you will find local elected officials who have accepted the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness.

Each participant…

  • Veterans Housing
Aug 01
  • Environment & Sustainability
  • Climate

"The American Climate Values Survey" assesses climate and other values to provide information and insights for people who want to increase the effectiveness of their efforts to build public support for climate solutions. 

Download survey. 

  • Sustainable Cities Institute
Aug 01
  • Environment & Sustainability
  • Climate
  • Communications

Leadership for climate solutions is growing dramatically. Major faith communities, heralded by Pope Francis; leading health organizations, such as the American Public Health Association; Fortune 500 companies, including Procter & Gamble, Google, and General Mills; virtually every college and university in America; and cities and states across the nation are taking action and speaking out…

  • Sustainable Cities Institute
Aug 01
  • Climate
  • Communications
  • Environment & Sustainability

Local governments and the services they provide contribute a small percentage of a community’s climate pollution. Because the majority comes from the private sector (homes, businesses, churches, schools, hospitals, etc.), successful community climate solutions require broad community participation. 

A key step is to ensure that mayors are well equipped to communicate local climate…

  • Sustainable Cities Institute
Jul 26
  • Climate
  • Communications
  • Environment & Sustainability

"15 Steps to Create Effective Climate Communications" from National League of Cities and ecoAmerica outlines the specific flow for creating and delivering successful climate change communications that resonate with your target audience.

Keep in mind that the order in which you present information matters. Research shows that the same set of facts arranged in different ways produces…

  • Sustainable Cities Institute
Jun 13
photo - Afterschool and Summer Meal Programs
photo - Afterschool and Summer Meal Programs
  • Afterschool

The U.S. Department of Agriculture administers federally-funded afterschool and summer meal programs, allowing children across the country access to meals during out-of-school time. Because this funding is guaranteed year-to-year as part of the Afterschool Meal Program and the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) program, the organizations operating these programs are fully reimbursed for the…

  • Institute for Youth, Education, and Families
Jun 09
photo - Youth Employment and Financial Capability: A Municipal Action Guide
photo - Youth Employment and Financial Capability: A Municipal Action Guide
  • Youth & Family
  • Health
  • City Government
  • Equity

City leaders know their cities thrive when their residents are healthy and financially secure. Health insurance coverage, whether through the private market or government-sponsored programs such as Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) offers the opportunity for families to build both good health and economic security. Whether in large cities or small towns, municipal…

  • Institute for Youth, Education, and Families
May 24
State of the Cities 2017
State of the Cities 2017
  • City Government

The State of the City speech is a reflection of the mayor’s priorities as well as the city’s accomplishments, challenges and roadmap for the future.

Watch State of the Cities: The Role of Local Leadership in 2017

National League of Cities’ annual State of the Cities report is a content analysis of mayors’ own words. It identifies top-level issues, such as economic…

  • Center for City Solutions