Author: Cooper Martin

This Small City in Kansas is a Leader on Climate Resilience

Interested in becoming a climate leader like Shawnee? Apply today for NLC’s Leadership in Community Resilience program. Deadline is December 20. Across the country, local leaders are recognizing the benefits of reaching across jurisdictions to address climate issues. While regional collaborations of any kind can be challenging, elected officials and their staff know that social,

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How American Cities Made Earth Day

On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans from all walks of life took to the streets, the auditoriums, and college campuses to put environmental concerns on the front page. This first Earth Day was a response to dire environmental challenges of the era. An oil well blew out and spilled off the coast of Santa

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Four Observations on the Future of Mobility

Last week, local leaders from all over the country traveled to Washington, D.C., to advocate for stronger federal partnerships on issues important to their communities. And for the second year in a row, NLC’s top legislative priority is legislation that helps rebuild and reimagine our nation’s infrastructure. Although our advocacy focus has not changed, the

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Ten Tips for Going Zero Waste

This is an excerpt from NLC’s new recycling guide, Recycling Reimagined. The health of our citizens and the safety of our environment depend on sustainable waste management systems. Cities should feel empowered to improve diversion rates and reduce waste. Examining your waste and recycling system can jumpstart local circular economies. A linear economy’s model is

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How Local Leaders Can Build Momentum on Climate Solutions

In America, most local leaders don’t run for city council, county commissioner, or mayor solely to solve climate change. But its challenges are now present in our communities — along with opportunities to solve them. Despite lingering disagreement about the causes of climate change, its impacts have reached cities and towns across America. That is

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Green Design Isn’t Just a Luxury. It Could Save Cities Billions.

In American cities, green design is having a moment. Solar panels, porous pavement, and green roofs are all catching on as ways for developers to reduce environmental impacts of buildings. But what happens when these features and other smart surface design elements are deployed throughout a neighborhood, or even an entire city? A new report

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Confronting Climate Change at City Summit 2017

Whether you’re a newly elected official or a seasoned public servant, the Sustainable Cities Institute (SCI), a National League of Cities program, provides local leaders innovative ideas and personal connections necessary to address challenges related to local energy policy, environmental quality, utility management, and climate-related disasters. This year at City Summit in Charlotte, several sessions

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Beyond Buzzwords: How West Palm Beach Is Creating a Lasting Resiliency Strategy

As part of NLC’s Leadership in Community Resilience Program, the city of West Palm Beach, Florida, conducted a STAR Communities workshop aimed at identifying and prioritizing actions to promote a healthy environment, a strong economy and the well-being of the people living in the community. This post was co-authored by Cooper Martin and Lacey Shaver.

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On the Road to a More Resilient America, Cities Will Lead

“As mayors, we are all first responders. A smart resilience strategy can mitigate impacts and speed recovery time in the event that our buildings and infrastructure are compromised – making our cities safer for our residents and for long-term investment and growth.” – Mayor Dawn Zimmer The air was crisp in Santa Fe, New Mexico,

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Celebrating Sustainable Suds on National American Beer Day

Some of the most successful breweries in the hugely competitive beer industry have pursued extremely aggressive programs for environmental conservation – and they’ve proven that it pays to be green. You may not have realized it, but today, in cities across the country, people are celebrating National American Beer Day. I like beer, and I’ve

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