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.

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 preemption…
  • Center for City Solutions
Nov 19
  • Innovation Districts
  • Placemaking

Increasingly, where workers live dictates what economic options they have, and these regional disparities in economic opportunity are pulling America apart. Traditional policies are no longer sufficient to address the emergence of geographic inequality.

In "Place-Based Policies For America's Innovation Economy," you will:

Learn the history of place-based policies Discover why…
  • Center for City Solutions
Nov 18
2020 Cities Agenda: Leading Together
2020 Cities Agenda: Leading Together
  • Advocacy

An Agenda for the 2020 Presidential Election from America’s Local Leaders

We are America’s local elected leaders. We are the voice of America’s cities, towns and villages, representing more than 200 million people. We are Republicans, Democrats and Independents. We may disagree on some issues, but we are united in the belief that our nation is strongest when all levels of government…

  • Federal Advocacy
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