In this new three-year initiative on the Future of Cities, NLC is diving deeper into the rapid shifts cities are facing as they recover and rebuild post-pandemic.

This multi-year exploration provides guidance for mayors, councilmembers and other city leaders as the landscape of our local communities continues to evolve and change. Through research, discussions and engagement with local leaders and industry experts, NLC will focus on trends in four key areas: people, places, technology and data.  

Future of Cities: Reenvisioning Retail for Recovery and Resilience 

Retail—whether online, in brick-and-mortar, or increasingly a mix of both—forms the foundation of our local economies, the workforce and community main streets across the country. City leaders have an opportunity to help shape the retail landscape in ways that realize their community’s vision for the future while supporting businesses and workers. The future of cities and the future of retail are intertwined as we rebound and rebuild in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As online shopping and the technology supporting this commerce has changed the retail landscape in recent years, it has become increasingly clear that many forecasted future trends in retail are already here today.