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
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
May 17
  • Youth Council
  • Youth & Family

Read more about Authentic Youth Engagement in this guide. 

May 08
  • Public Safety
  • Health & Wellness
  • Violence
What are the goals of the program?

In December 2013, realizing that the issue of firearm violence rates in the City of Wilmington, especially among youth, was becoming a crisis situation, the city leaders requested that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) assist in an investigation of gun violence and provide recommendations for preventive action. Specifically, the CDC was…

  • Center for City Solutions
Apr 19
Autonomous vehicle
Autonomous vehicle
  • Innovation
  • Transportation

Autonomous vehicles are rolling out on city streets across the country at a rapid pace – much faster than anticipated just a few years ago. While state and federal entities have always played a role in regulating transportation, cities are where this new technology is being deployed now.

National League of Cities latest resource, “Autonomous Vehicles: A Policy Preparation Guide,”…

  • Urban Innovation
Apr 17
Healthy housing
Healthy housing
  • Housing
  • Neighborhoods
  • Community & Housing
What was the goal of the initiative?

The Arroyo Vista public housing development, the city’s only such venue, was falling into disrepair. The costs to improve or rebuild the 150-unit development could not be borne by the city alone. Toward the goal of transforming this low-density deteriorating property into a mixed-use and mixed-income complex offering several housing types in a…

  • Center for City Solutions
Apr 06
Main Street
Main Street
  • Economic Development
  • Equity

Effective economic development demands informed leadership from local elected leaders. Economic development is the process of building strong, adaptive and equitable local economies. What constitutes success in economic development and the specific strategies to accomplish it will undoubtedly look different from place to place. Yet despite these differences, leadership is consistently…

  • Center for City Solutions
Mar 13
  • University

Now that you’ve scheduled a meeting with your legislator, what do you do? This session will prepare you to start or continue a strong working relationship with your legislators on Capitol Hill and lobby effectively for cities’ top legislative priorities. Learn more about legislators, develop your own personalized “elevator speech” on legislative issues, and find out more about NLC’s resources…