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 24
Bikeshare
Bikeshare
  • Infrastructure
  • Transportation

The past year has been marked by a race toward micromobility, where bikes and electric scooters provide a new way for residents to move throughout their communities. While there is a great deal of promise with these innovations, the emergence of micromobility comes with its own set of challenges and considerations for planners, residents and local decisionmakers.

In this report, you…

  • Center for City Solutions
Mar 18
Housing in America
Housing in America
  • Community & Housing
  • Housing
  • Preemption

There is a simple truth that connects every person in every city, town and village across America: They want a safe, affordable place to call home. A place to raise their families, enjoy meals with friends and rest their heads at night. But for too many people across the country, that vision of home is not accessible, affordable, or in many cases, available. That is why the National League of…

  • Center for City Solutions
Mar 06
  • Youth & Family

In a growing trend that began with Takoma Park, Maryland, many cities are exploring lowering the voting age to 16 or 17 for municipal elections.

Many young people are engaging in civic leadership in their communities, working jobs, as well as going to school, yet are not able to vote on issues and decisions that directly affect their lives.

This strategy guide lays out data…

Mar 06
  • Youth & Family

Participatory budgeting allows people of all ages to be involved in how their city spends a portion of its budget. While these initiatives can be used by any member of the public, they allow youth to take on valuable roles in addressing important issues in their cities.

By involving youth, cities receive feedback on how they can tackle challenges in their communities.

This…

Mar 06
Youth Councils in City Governmenthttps://www.nlc.org/sites/default/files/users/user93/IYEF-Starting-a-Youth-Council_web.pdf
Youth Councils in City Governmenthttps://www.nlc.org/sites/default/files/users/user93/IYEF-Starting-a-Youth-Council_web.pdf
  • Youth & Family
  • Youth Council

Youth councils or youth advisory boards can provide an effective way to engage youth in city government.

Youth councils provide a conduit for youth voice to city leadership, help promote civic engagement and community service, and foster an understanding of how municipal government works.

This strategy guide offers the basics for forming a youth…

Mar 06
  • Youth & Family

Youth summits can be an effective way to begin a new youth-focused city initiative, or a means of gathering youth views to guide municipal policies and planning. They provide a forum where young people can interact and brainstorm while community leaders hear youth’s opinions on various topics with relation to city government.

This strategy brief lays out what city leaders and staff…

Mar 06
  • Youth & Family

This strategy guide serves as a starting point for city leaders and staff who want to actively and authentically bring local youth into the process as real partners at the table.

It outlines strategies cities have successfully used to engage their young people, and includes specific examples from municipalities across the country.

The guide also lays out a variety of engagement…

Mar 05
Deep End Youth
Deep End Youth
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Youth & Family

Youth with sustained involvement in the juvenile justice system face serious challenges to making the normal developmental progress that helps cities thrive – for instance, with steps such as completing schooling, getting jobs, and living independently.

This new brief sketches the landscape in which juvenile justice-involved youth travel, as well as the steps that city leaders can…

  • Justice Reform and Youth Engagement
  • Institute for Youth, Education, and Families
Mar 04
  • Transportation
  • Infrastructure

Mobility is central to individual prosperity, commerce and the growth of communities.

When it comes to city streets, commuter highways, rail lines and ports, cities need transportation networks that run like clockwork. But the costs of congestion and maintenance backlogs are ever-growing, and the funding model the nation uses is not keeping pace with our needs.

In “Fixing…

Feb 27
Affordable Housing
Affordable Housing
  • Health & Wellness

As the role of housing as a determinant of success in life — affecting health, access to education, and the opportunity for upward mobility — becomes better understood, cities face the daunting task of eliminating the affordable-and-healthy housing shortfall. The challenge for city leaders is to ensure that city residents can afford a safe and healthy place to live, one that enables them to…

  • Institute for Youth, Education, and Families