NLC’s Urban Innovation research and solutions portfolio encapsulates the many new technologies and platforms that have come to redefine city governance and service delivery. As technological innovations become more central to cities and their day to day operations, this research portfolio aims to help city leaders embrace some of the most complex paradigm shifts. The goal is to develop resources that can assist city leaders in managing and maximizing their use of new smart city technologies and in preparing for near-term and long-term technological shifts.

City of the Future

The National League of Cities’ City of the Future initiative explores existing trends and predicts future developments so that cities can anticipate changes in the urban landscape and prepare accordingly. This multi-year research project focuses on five different factors that affect cities: technology, economics, climate, culture, and demographics. By exploring these factors through a city-centric lens, the City of the Future initiative highlights specific issues that will affect how people experience and move throughout cities for years to come.

+ Read our report on the Future of Work

+ Read our report on Technology and Mobility

Cities & Drones

Drones have the potential to revolutionize many industries and city services, particularly as their technology advances. There are many applications for drones within the public sector at the local and state level.

+ Read More

Sharing Economy

Cities make the sharing economy work. The sharing economy, also commonly referred to as collaborative consumption, encompasses peer-to peer transactions in which providers and consumers share resources and services from housing to vehicles and more. NLC helps city leaders understand and navigate this emerging trend.

+ Read More

Smart Cities

Smart cities have been broadly characterized as having employing information and communications technologies (ICTs) to solve problems in a wide range of public policy domains, including energy, waste management, transportation, healthcare, security, public administration, education, and more. Smart cities, however, are not exclusively technological, but also involve creating collaborative environments and making the human capital investments necessary to catalyze learning and innovation.

+ Read More