Category: General

Go Tell the Spartans

Lansing, Michigan – The Spartans of old were the lightly armed, highly determined warriors that defended the pass at Thermopylae in 480 B.C. against a vastly superior force of Persians, bent on the complete destruction of Greece. The modern Spartans are the lightly armed and highly determined municipal officials who battle to prevent Michigan from

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Whitney Says Earthquake is Sign of De(Fault) Problem

August is a slow month in D.C.  and we thought we’d add some humor to the post-Earthquake news cycle.  Obviously, none of the statements or quotes in this post are real. Financial analyst Meredith Whitney said that the recent earthquake in the mid-Atlantic region is yet another sign of underlying instability in the municipal bond

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Economic Benefits of Green Cities

This post is written by Caitlin Geary, Associate within the Finance and Economic Development Program, Center for Research and Innovation at the National League of Cities. As energy and transportation costs rise, market demand for “green” grows and budget cuts continue to loom, communities are increasingly realizing the multiple benefits linking sustainability, cost savings and economic

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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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