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
Nov 04
Main Street
Main Street
  • Opportunity Zones

The opportunity zones program was launched as a way to address the many pockets of poverty and inequity around the country. But what are opportunity zones and how will they affect your city? 

NLC's new guide should seen as an invaluable foundational tool for local leaders in every state.

In this guide, you will:

Learn about the opportunity zones program Uncover best…
  • Center for City Solutions
Oct 28
  • Mental Health
  • Substance Abuse
  • Housing

The broad goal of this project is to provide a resource to help city leaders implement effective strategies for emergency response and crisis stabilization for individuals experiencing mental illness, substance use disorder and/or homelessness. City leaders may adapt the strategies to address their city’s specific challenges in these areas.

Brief No. 1: …

  • Institute for Youth, Education, and Families
  • Health & Wellness
Oct 24
Columbus, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio
  • Finance
  • Taxation
  • Revenue

This year's City Fiscal Conditions research looked at the fiscal conditions and factors across 500+ U.S. cities.

Some key takeaways?

Almost two in three finance officers in large cities are predicting a recession as soon as 2020 Cities' revenue growth stalled in the 2018 fiscal year, but this year's continued drop indicates mounting pressures on city budgets The Midwest is…
  • Center for City Solutions
Oct 23
Reducing the Use of Jails
Reducing the Use of Jails
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Youth & Family

Current criminal justice policies lead 11 million people to enter U.S. jails each year. The effects of short jail sentences and more commonly, pre-trial confinement, include loss of jobs and housing; stigma and disenfranchisement from criminal records; diminishment of positive police-community relations; and deteriorated health due to limited jail capacity to respond to mental, physical, and…

  • Justice Reform and Youth Engagement
  • Institute for Youth, Education, and Families
Oct 17
First tier housing summit
First tier housing summit
  • Community & Housing

In Fall 2018, NLC's First Tier Suburbs Council announced a pilot project that would award consulting on economic development to a first tier city or group of cities. The Mid-America Regional Council, a nonprofit that serves the nine county Kansas City metropolitan area won the award. MARC as it is known sought economic advice on the area's housing market and access to affordable housing. The…

  • Center for Member and Partner Engagement
Oct 15
Office building
Office building
  • Cybersecurity
  • Smart Cities

Every hour, 26% of local governments report a cyberattack. But according to a new NLC analysis, done in partnership with the Public Technology Institute, nearly a quarter don’t have a cybersecurity plan that is designed to protect government information systems from attack.

In this guide, you will:

Discover how some cities fought back against hackers Learn how your community…
  • Center for City Solutions
Sep 23
  • Pension

Keep your pension plan healthy to avoid bankruptcy and support your workers.

The pension landscape has been changing ever since the Great Recession. This new guide from NLC, Understanding Defined Benefit and Defined Contribution Retirement Plans, is meant to help public workforce employers better navigate this landscape.

In this guide, you will:…

  • Center for City Solutions
Sep 16
  • Health & Wellness
  • Housing
  • Health

NLC is challenging cities to take action on indoor environmental hazards and their impact on the health of children and families in 2019 and 2020.

Pledge now to take action in your community and commit to implementing at least one policy or program. Please join your peers and select at least one of these four actions:

Inform…
  • Institute for Youth, Education, and Families
  • Health & Wellness
Sep 16
Family on porch
Family on porch
  • Leadership & Management
  • Data Management
  • Race & Equity
  • Local

"Municipal governments have an important relationship with the census — both as consumers of the invaluable data it gathers and as partners in ensuring the complete and accurate count of our cities." 

The National League of Cities (NLC) supports the Census Bureau’s mission to “serve as the nation’s leading provider of quality data about its people and economy.” We also understand the…

  • Center for City Solutions
  • Federal Advocacy
Sep 06
Housing of all kinds
Housing of all kinds
  • Community & Housing
  • Housing

Which housing market does your city have? There are six.

Every medium and large city in America was analyzed in the National League of Cities' new report, “Housing Market Conditions Across America’s Cities,” which includes tailored recommendations for strengthening each type of housing market.

In this report, you will:

Learn about the different demographic and economic…
  • Center for City Solutions