Meet Evanston: a Mid-Sized Climate Powerhouse

Picture the scene: Approximately one thousand ten-year-olds packed into an expansive field house, explaining to their parents, teachers and other guests what worsening climate impacts will feel like in Evanston, Illinois, and how their ideas or products could help mitigate these effects. The crowd convened at Evanston Township High School (notably, the country’s largest high school

Continue reading

The 3 W’s of a Citywide Afterschool System: Why, Who, and Where

As a municipal leader, you may be familiar with the programs available at local recreation centers, a YMCA, or Boys & Girls club, but you may not know if the most vulnerable children and youth in your city have a safe place to go after school. The Wallace Foundation report, Governance Structures for City Afterschool

Continue reading

In Indianapolis, Reviving a Sleepy Neighborhood

Don’t sleep on Naptown. Indianapolis was once known for its quiet evenings and small-town aura in a big city, hence the city’s nickname—Naptown. While it was once considered an insult, today the nickname “Naptown” has reclaimed some of it’s original flare (the name originated from the 1920’s jazz “Naptown sound”), as the city has transformed from what

Continue reading

5 Low-Budget Strategies to Help Small Communities Boost their Economies

Photo: Attendees at Vermont League of Cities & Towns discuss small community economic development strategies. When most communities pursue economic development, local leaders often think of creating a burst of economic opportunity from large employers that can quickly increase employment for residents while at the same time increasing revenue into the municipality’s coffers. However, this

Continue reading

Cities Addressing the Loss of Low-Rent Affordable Housing

As city leaders pointed out last week at the release of NLC’s Housing Task Force report, American cities, towns and villages are experiencing a severe shortage of housing for low-income residents. According to a new report from Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, the supply of low-rent housing units has declined significantly since 2011.

Continue reading

How Sustainability is Changing Regional Cooperation

Mayors in towns large and small recognize the power of collaboration — the strength in numbers. In my last blog post, we discussed the Greenest Region Compact (GRC), which featured 115 municipalities and 10 councils of government in Northeast Illinois as signatories at last count. It is the largest regional collaboration on sustainability in the United

Continue reading

Local Leaders From 13 Cities Take On Early Childhood Workforce

When municipal leaders support the early childhood workforce, they ensure the youngest citizens have high-quality early experiences that lead to improved outcomes later in life. In May, the National League of Cities hosted local leaders from 13 cities for an early childhood workforce roundtable. Leaders gathered for the release of a new resource to increase

Continue reading

Celebrating Our Small Cities

Each year, the National League of Cities celebrates our cities with populations of 50,000 or less. Across the country, our small towns, villages, and cities are the heartbeat of communities. While a large proportion of the United States continues to be urban, a growing majority of Americans live in small towns with populations between 2,500

Continue reading

Using an Equity Lens to Build Age-Friendly Cities

For the first time in our country’s history, we are living in some of the most diverse communities. Our families span multiple generations and our cities, towns, and villages are catering to a variety of people’s needs. These generational needs invite an approach that values equity – an intentional process by leaders to create a

Continue reading