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
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…

Mar 12
  • Finance

Presentation and handout from a March 2017 session designed to help local elected officials and city staff understand the role of elected officials in public finance. Addresses critical public finance topics along with best practices and resources that will allow elected leaders and city staff to better engage in managing a financially sustainable government. Specific focus is placed on…

  • NLC University
Mar 12
  • University

Ethical Public leadership is more than simply following the law. This seminar enhances municipal leaders’ abilities to assess ethically difficult situations and to make ethically defensible choices. Beginning with some fundamental elements of ethical decision making, the seminar draws the audience into active participation to establish the elements of a personal ethical framework and then…

Mar 12
  • University

Using messaging appropriate to your audience and context can be critically important to moving initiatives and conversations forward. Communications experts from EcoAmerica will share messaging tips related to urban sustainability and climate issues informed by years of public opinion research data and work crafting and delivering strategic messages related to these issues.

Speakers…

Mar 12
  • University

Small businesses are the backbone of your city’s local economy. As an elected leader, you have the power to help local entrepreneurs start, scale, and retain their businesses in your community. This NLCU session will explore strategies for building a supportive environment for small businesses and startups, with a specific emphasis on city policy levers that you can influence. Join this…

Mar 11
  • University

Developed by the Urban Land Institute (ULI), Urban Plan is a realistic and engaging simulation in which participants learn about and wrestle with the fundamental forces that affect urban development. Participants, playing the role of an inter-disciplinary a real estate development team, will experience the challenging issues, private and public sector roles, complex trade-offs, and fundamental…

Mar 11
  • University

The retirement benefits offered to public sector employees can seem complicated and bewildering. This free NLC University session will delve into the key facts and issues municipal leaders should consider when evaluating pensions and retiree healthcare to balance human resource needs with fiscal responsibility. The course will also examine the common regulatory, collective bargaining, and…