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
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
Feb 21
  • Race & Equity

Many jurisdictions are creating offices or personnel dedicated to managing the municipality’s racial equity efforts and coordinating across arms of local government. Cities can make policies to develop this infrastructure or to build racial equity assessment processes into regular government functions. Here are a few examples.

  • Race, Equity, and Leadership (REAL)
Feb 21
  • Race & Equity
  • Race, Equity, and Leadership (REAL)
Feb 21
  • Race & Equity

City councils can apply a racial equity lens to key decision points outside of formal legislation. The operations of city departments can be tailored to address the structural causes of racial inequities. In many municipalities, city councils have authority over other decisions like those related to zoning, land ownership, purchasing, and hiring.

  • Race, Equity, and Leadership (REAL)
Feb 21
  • Race & Equity

Municipalities have an obligation to use policy, practice, and procedure to advance racial equity and undo the inequities baked into the law. Here are several ordinances that cities have passed with the express understanding of the racial inequities they are designed to address, ranging across the housing, employment, policing and zoning areas.

  • Race, Equity, and Leadership (REAL)