Category: General

Supporting Food Systems, Supporting Communities

“The best way to preserve farmland is to make farmers successful on that land.” This call to action from participants attending the Supporting Local Food Systems Roundtable at NLC’s Congress of Cities (CoC), speaks to just one of the many factors driving the National League of Cities’ (NLC) commitment to addressing sustainable food issues in

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New Report on Homelessness: The Good, The Bad, and What You Can Do

Last week, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development released their latest national estimate of the number of homeless across the country. While there are several points of good news, there are also sober realities that must be acknowledged. The Good News Broadly speaking, in January of this year 633,783 people were homeless. This

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Elevating the Principles of Net-Zero Buildings to Teach Us About Building Sustainable Communities

A few weeks ago, at the Greenbuild conference in San Francisco, I attended a session that featured NREL’s Research Support Facility (RSF) in Golden, CO. The session’s speakers described the design and construction process of the RSF, a net-zero energy building (NZEB) that today serves as a model for performance-based design. The possibilities presented about

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Opportunities and Impact for Small-Town Sustainability

Of the many misconceptions that sustainability as a field encounters, the notion that it is an approach exclusive to large, well-resourced cities is as pervasive as it is untrue. Last week I had the opportunity to attend a roundtable discussion on strategies to connect and support sustainability efforts in cities and towns across the state

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The Soft Stuff is the Hard Stuff

“I’d rather be wanted for murder than not wanted at all,” a juvenile murderer said to me when I served as Commissioner of Youth Services in Massachusetts.  This frightening statement throws into sharp relief the fundamental need shared by all of us, namely that we must be seen as important in someone’s eyes, claimed, “beloved.”

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The Latest in Economic Development

This week’s blog discusses an innovative, localized way to fund local development projects, two regions focused on mutually beneficial cooperation, an NPR story on insourcing, and the startup culture between the coasts. Comment below or send to common@nlc.org. Get the last edition of “The Latest in Economic Development.” “Why couldn’t people in the community invest

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Sequestration Doesn’t Hurt Veterans, Right? Well actually…

It wasn’t too long ago when the term sequestration was one that practically no one used. Lately though, it seems that a news cast doesn’t go by without the word being mentioned. It is commonly thought that Congress and the Administration made sure sequestration would not hurt any programs that help our veterans, but that

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Can Regional Cooperation Work in Economic Development?

Lately, economic development incentives has been a very buzzworthy topic. The New York Times is currently running a series based on its investigation into “How Taxpayers Bankroll Business.”  The reason for this newfound focus? As always, it usually comes down to following the money. And since money is tight (on both the state and local

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Do Your Businesses Have the Talent They Need to Succeed?

In 2011, the 10 county region of Northeast Indiana around Ft. Wayne was the leading region for percentage of year over year job growth. The region’s success in the face of challenging economic conditions wasn’t an accident. It was the result of intentional alignment between its workforce and economic development efforts. This concept of workforce as

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