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
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)
Oct 30
Madison State Capitol
Madison State Capitol
  • Equity
  • Social Justice
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Although the City of Madison, Wisconsin created an Office of Civil Rights and prioritized equity work in its public health department prior to 2013, a confluence of factors led the city to establish a formal Racial Equity and Social Justice Initiative (RESJI) that year with the mission of addressing racism within the City’s institutional structure. Learn how Wisconsin's capital is working…

  • Race, Equity, and Leadership (REAL)
Oct 29
  • Equity
  • Social Justice
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Early efforts to integrate financial capability strategies into youth employment programs have demonstrated some promising approaches for city leaders and practitioners to consider when designing or expanding programs. Learn how one of America's most historical cities has worked to promote racial equity and enhance outcomes for all of its residents.

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  • Race, Equity, and Leadership (REAL)
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
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 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