Month: August 2016

How to Reinvent a Struggling Downtown

In this Big Ideas for Cities feature, Little Rock, Arkansas Mayor Mark Stodola discusses how creative placemaking can drive economic development in a city’s downtown. How can a city reinvent a downtown after it’s been ‘dead’ for 30 years? In this Big Ideas for Cities talk, Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola discusses what it takes to make

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Six Questions Every Elected Official Should Ask About Their City’s Retirement Benefits

NLC recently announced the Public Sector Retirement Initiative, designed to provide timely research and educational resources to help elected officials navigate the retirement landscape, solve local government retirement challenges, and help cities achieve greater fiscal sustainability. This post is the first in NLC’s Public Sector Retirement Initiative blog series. In 2009, the city of Atlanta

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Mayors Aren’t Just Talking About Housing and Homelessness – They’re Doing Something About It

For the third straight year, mayors have identified housing as a fundamental challenge facing their communities, according to our 2016 State of the Cities report. Nearly a decade since the housing and financial crisis, one of the cruel ironies continuing to grip many cities is the lack of affordable housing – even as they continue

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This Week in Urban Affairs: Self-driving Uber Cars, Veteran Homelessness, and Why Climate Change Will Cost Millennials a Fortune

Our new weekly roundup of the latest reading materials filtered through an urban affairs lens. Austin, Texas ends Veteran homelessness. Last Friday, Austin, Texas, joined the growing number of cities that have effectively ended veteran homelessness. The city housed 682 veterans since taking on first lady Michelle Obama’s Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness two

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How to Implement Afterschool and Summer Learning Programs in Your City

City leaders are increasingly embracing the strategy of afterschool and summer learning to help expand enrichment opportunities for youth and address a broad range of issues such as academic success, public safety, workforce preparedness, economic development, and health and wellness. Here’s how to jump on the bandwagon. Statewide summits organized by afterschool networks offer an

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How Your City Can Improve Utility Collections While Helping Families

The LIFT-UP program offers city leaders a win-win scenario, allowing city utilities to recoup lost revenue due to unpaid bills while enabling residents to reduce outstanding balances and late fees, connect with financial empowerment services, and reduce the chances of a utility shut-off. Editor’s Note: This post has been changed, including a new LIFT-UP Impacts graphic

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