State of the Cities 2021 examines how the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated critical issues facing municipalities. Some key statistics describing the challenges that our cities face include:
- 39% of officials indicated that roads and bridges were experiencing declining quality over the past year
- 63% of urban officials reported increases in homelessness
- 37% of officials say affordable housing supply is the most prominent factor driving negative local outcomes
- 68% of officials reported increases in the need for small business emergency assistance
Every city, town and village has felt the impacts of the pandemic. However, existing infrastructure was a key factor in determining how a community was able to respond and exercise resilience. Understanding how and why municipalities fared differently provides insight on why robust federal investments are crucial in weathering crisis.
- 40% of local officials indicated that access to clean drinking water was one of the most significant positive conditions supporting their communities;
- 20% of local officials indicated broadband availability as a leading positive driver, while 15% indicated it posed the most significant challenges for their residents over the past year; and
- 43% of municipalities indicated that the availability of parks, recreation and community green and open spaces was a top condition supporting their communities
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