Category: General

The Active Living Imperative

The issue of obesity is oft discussed in the media and by healthy living figureheads like Michelle Obama as the cause for many of our country’s ills.  Mrs. Obama fights to introduce healthy, affordable produce into our food deserts (discussed eloquently in this recent blog post), and champions increased physical activity for children.  For adults,

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La Rambla de Barcelona

The first thing a visitor to Barcelona may notice is the time shift. At 7:30 in the morning, even the Starbucks is not open. In fact, the only people on the streets of the Gothic Quarter are the tourists streaming from their small hotels past the closed shops with the doors covered in graffiti. Even

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“New Urbanism”: What Does it Mean to City Leaders?

The term new urbanism brings about visions of the constructed reality of Truman Burbank—played by actor Jim Carey in the 1998 Hollywood movie, The Truman Show.  The movie depicts Burbank’s fabricated made-for-TV life in his made-for-TV small town and was filmed on location in Seaside, Florida. Seaside was master planned in the early ‘90s, and

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Meredith Whitney’s Misinformation Campaign

Almost six months ago, Meredith Whitney – the controversial financial investor who made her name by predicting the recent troubles for Wall Street banks  – set off a firestorm in financial markets by claiming that “social unrest” was coming in the form of ”50-100 sizeable municipal defaults.” She’s back this week with an op-ed in

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Places and People are Keys to Thriving Cities

Efforts at “place making” have seldom been so visible in both federal policy and local initiative.  But author Edward Glaeser in his popular work Triumph of the City, suggests that a focus on place is truly, well, misplaced.  “Invest in people,” Glaeser advocates, because at their best cities are job-creating engines that put talent to

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A Changing Paradigm: Cities and Regions Embracing Global Interdependence

Distrustful, inward-looking and even smug…U.S. local officials have been called it all when it comes to describing their attitudes toward strengthening global economic interdependence.  And this is part of a broader story about the U.S., that we are unwilling to look to global partners to help restore economic growth.  Perhaps in certain places at certain

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Budget Compromise is Only the Beginning

This week we’ve been receiving a lot of phone calls on the budget compromise and where cities came out. NLC, in coordination with cities and towns across the nation, fought hard to preserve priority investments in cities. The issues NLC identified as priorities – like Community Development Block Grants – help our cities get back

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Touching the Tigers

The most extraordinary heroes generally prove to be average and ordinary folk. Glen Beneda was one case in point. A fighter pilot in World War II, it was his actions after the war that defined the true measure of his heroism.  Beneda fought the Japanese in the air over China as a member of the

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Former Mayor Helping Cities on a Global Level

Joan Clos has held many titles in his life – doctor, mayor, minister and ambassador. Late in 2010 he added a new title to his resume: Executive Director of United Nations Habitat. In this new role he will have the opportunity to bring his considerable talents in urban planning, housing, job creation and diplomacy to

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State of the Cities in 2011: Prioritizing Public Safety

This is the final post of a seven-part series about mayors’ 2011 State of the City speeches. Given the dire state of many municipal budgets, it makes sense that local governments are trying to trim the fat and balance budgets.  However, one area where there is always hesitancy to make cuts is public safety.  In

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