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
Jun 19
Responding to Racial Tension in Your City: A Municipal Action Guide
Responding to Racial Tension in Your City: A Municipal Action Guide
  • Race & Equity

NLC interviewed several current and former municipal leaders who have been through similar moments of crisis with racial tension. This document provides important contextual and tactical information to support a municipality’s efforts to respond effectively. It includes:

Definition of common values — Five common values need to be embedded in all actions in response to racial tension.…
  • Race, Equity, and Leadership (REAL)
Jun 19
  • Early Childhood
  • Early Childhood
  • Youth & Family

This work was designed to help cities deepen efforts to support the early childhood workforce by promoting strong government, aligning professional development opportunities and mobilizing key stakeholders to leverage increased support for the early childhood workforce. NLC gathered information about how a select group of cities professionalizes and supports the early childhood workforce…

  • Early Childhood Success
  • Institute for Youth, Education, and Families
May 21
Cityscape
Cityscape
  • City Government

As Washington talks, mayors take action. With a lack of federal leadership on critical issues like climate change and infrastructure, mayors are increasingly focusing on local solutions that address national challenges.

State of the Cities is a first-of-its-kind report that benchmarks the top issues that mayors are talking about and the factors driving those priorities. In its sixth…

  • Center for City Solutions
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…