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
Sep 08
  • Community & Housing
  • COVID-19

Due to discriminatory housing practices and the inadequate supply of affordable housing, coupled with wage stagnation as rents have risen, a housing crisis in America’s cities was inevitable. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated America’s housing problem. Now cities are having to stretch their dollars to fund emergency shelters, provide mortgage and rental assistance, and implement…

  • Center for City Solutions
Aug 12
Cityscape
Cityscape
  • Finance
  • Taxation
  • Revenue
  • COVID-19

In its 35th year, the City Fiscal Conditions report continues to provide insight into the fiscal health of cities, towns and villages from across the nation. The findings in this year’s report reveals that America’s cities are experiencing the fiscal consequences of this pandemic-downturn at an unprecedented speed – and …

  • Center for City Solutions
Jul 22
Person climbing stairs
Person climbing stairs
  • Housing

In keeping with NLC’s ongoing effort to support leaders in local government on matters of homelessness and housing insecurity, this overview provides foundational information for use in developing or refining local solutions and for building relevant stakeholder coalitions and community consensus.

Key takeaways include:

Homelessness is frequently cited as a top concern by a…

  • Center for City Solutions
Jun 29
2020 SOTC Report Skyline
2020 SOTC Report Skyline
  • City Government

The state of our cities continues to be strong even in these troubled times. Right now, mayors are battling the twin challenges of a public health crisis precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic fallout that the novel coronavirus has wrought on our nation’s communities. Mayors have been on the frontlines serving as stalwart leaders – together with the essential workers and the…

  • Center for City Solutions
Apr 20
Man looking at computer screen
Man looking at computer screen
  • Cybersecurity
  • State

This guide outlines some of the most impactful ways that local governments can work with their state governments to prepare and defend again cyberattacks. Strategies discussed in this guide include:

Mandatory breach reporting; State training initiatives; Cybersecurity Task Forces, Working Groups, and Councils; State and Local Shared Cybersecurity Services; and Non-Government…
  • Center for City Solutions
Feb 07
  • Preemption

Home rule is a longstanding legal principle that gives us the power to decide which services we provide, the policies we implement, and the ways we solve problems locally. In 1953, the American Municipal Association (AMA) — which became the National League of Cities (NLC) in 1964 — published the last comprehensive proposed reform of home rule, sparking a wave of state constitutional change in…

  • Center for City Solutions
Feb 05
  • Civic Engagement

In 2020, for the first time, millions of U.S. residents can respond online to the census, hundreds of thousands of federal workers will use handheld devices to conduct the decennial count, and news about the census will travel through social media channels in real time. Our nation’s first “digital” census presents myriad opportunities for a truly participatory count, but a number of issues—…

  • Center for City Solutions
Feb 05
Indianapolis Bus
Indianapolis Bus
  • Federal
  • Transportation

Local leaders are committed to playing a larger role in rebuilding America’s infrastructure collaboratively with our regional, state and federal partners. Transportation is changing and our investments will need to change too. Communities are looking to partner on and invest in the transportation needs and mobility of residents to showcase how we move forward as a nation.

2020 will be…

  • Federal Advocacy
Jan 30
  • Pedestrian
  • Infrastructure

City residents are increasingly seeking out spaces where they can meet friends for a cup of coffee, do some shopping, or simply stroll around and enjoy their communities. And city leaders are responding by developing pedestrian zones and spaces that reduce the impact of automobiles.

Pedestrian zones are areas that are permanently, periodically or occasionally closed to vehicular…

  • Center for City Solutions
Nov 20
Restoring City Rights in an Era of Preemption
Restoring City Rights in an Era of Preemption
  • Preemption

Every day, city leaders are working to improve the health and welfare of their communities and the people who live there. But instead of partnership and support, many cities in recent years have confronted state politics and interference.

After reading "Restoring City Rights in the Era of Preemption," you will learn:

How to talk about…
  • Center for City Solutions