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
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
Mar 10
  • Education
  • City Government

Recognizing the increasing importance of a skilled workforce to economic development, city leaders are playing pivotal new roles in efforts to increase the proportion of residents in their communities who attain postsecondary education degrees or credentials. A wealth of evidence indicates that further education beyond high school boosts employment opportunities and earning power, and a…

  • Institute for Youth, Education, and Families
Mar 10
  • Education
  • City Government

Nationwide, around 40 percent of working age adults hold a postsecondary credential. In the 21st century, these credentials have increasingly become the keys that open doors to family-supporting jobs. Recognizing the economic necessity of building a highly skilled and educated workforce, more city, education, and business leaders are joining a growing national movement to achieve a 60 percent…

  • Institute for Youth, Education, and Families
Mar 10
  • Education
  • City Government
  • Leadership & Management

In order for cities – large and small, urban, suburban and rural – to be globally competitive and attractive to businesses and families alike, more of their residents must pursue and successfully obtain postsecondary degrees and credentials.

A postsecondary credential – whether it is a bachelor’s degree, associate degree, apprenticeship, or certificate – is critical for success in…

  • Institute for Youth, Education, and Families
Mar 10
  • Retirement
  • City Government
  • Finance

Pensions play a critical role in the ability of local governments to attract and retain the workforce needed to meet citizen demands. The costs associated with this employee benefit, however, can be substantial. A recent National League of Cities (NLC) survey revealed that over the past year the cost of pensions increased in more than 70 percent of cities. One in three cities identified these…

  • Center for City Solutions
Mar 08
  • Transportation
Focus Issues: Opportunity, Equity, and Participation, Transportation, Climate Change, and Land Use 

This compendium of best practices, prepared by MZ Strategies, LLC, offers sample tools for funders to help ensure that low-income households and communities of color benefit from efforts in their communities to address climate change, expand mobility, and create more inclusive development…

  • Sustainable Cities Institute
Mar 08
  • Environment & Sustainability
  • Air Quality and Emissions
  • Climate

Responsible for more than 70 percent of global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions, cities represent the single greatest opportunity for tackling climate change. The first step for cities to realize their potential is to identify and measure where their emissions come from -- you can’t cut what you don’t count.

GHG Protocol is working to give cities the standards and tools they…

  • Sustainable Cities Institute
Mar 08
  • Climate
  • Resilience
  • Community & Housing
  • Zoning
  • Land Use
  • Infrastructure
  • Water

To help local communities address the increased flooding expected from sea-level rise and more frequent extreme weather events, the Georgetown Climate Center designed a model sea-level rise ordinance to provide local governments with a template for tailoring regulations to meet the needs of their community and its particularized vulnerabilities.

To effectively balance all the competing…

  • Sustainable Cities Institute
Mar 08
  • Climate
  • Resilience
  • Community
  • Zoning
  • Land Use
  • Water
  • Infrastructure

Coastal communities are in need of practical tools to aid in adapting to sea-level rise. Inter-jurisdictional cooperation and legal maneuvering may be required to protect existing and planned development, infrastructure, and ecological resources from the threats posed by sea-level rise.

This tool kit begins with a brief discussion of climate change impacts based upon common scientific…

  • Sustainable Cities Institute