Category: energy & sustainability

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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Cities, Innovation, and the Growth of the Digital Economy

The digital economy, or the internet sector, is a critical component of urban economies. This sector is not often thought of in the same way as more traditional industries — if formally measured, it would be among the 20 largest — but today it looms over many ‘powerhouse’ sectors like retail, construction, and the auto

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Two Supreme Court Cases Test Limits of Local Authority

By the end of June 2018, the Supreme Court will have decided two cases — Lozman v. City of Riviera Beach and Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement and Power District v. SolarCity — testing the limits of local government authority. Both cases could have serious ramifications for city leaders in the future. And beyond that, the cases

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How Toronto Gets Urban Housing and Zoning Right

This is a guest post by Nick Norris, planning director for the city of Salt Lake City. It was 6 a.m. and I couldn’t sleep. The outside temperature was 16 degrees Fahrenheit (that’s -9 degrees Celsius). “I can do this,” I said as I put on my cold weather running gear. Up until that point, my

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“Imagine Austin” Uses Data to Bring City’s Vision To Life

This is a guest post by Natale LaBarbera, an open data advocate and account manager at Socrata.  What is the City of Austin’s self-proclaimed greatest asset? Its people. In fact, thousands of community members teamed together to create Imagine Austin, a comprehensive plan for how the City hopes to grow and advance in 30-years. Now

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In Toronto, Arts and Culture Take Center Stage

This is a guest post by Ellyn Parker, project manager for the 2018 Rose Fellowship team. This is the second blog in a three-part series about insights from a study tour of Toronto by NLC’s 2018 Rose Center Land Use Fellows. Last month, NLC’s Rose Center Land Use fellowship team braved the cold temperatures of

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What American Cities Can Learn From Toronto’s Success

Last month, representatives from four NLC member cities — Columbus, Ohio, Richmond, Virginia, Salt Lake City, and Tucson, Arizona — traveled to Toronto, Ontario for a study tour. With a population of 2,800,000, Toronto is North America’s fourth-largest city — and the  community is working to cope with explosive growth (fueled in part by immigration),

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Why Cities Struggle to Fund Infrastructure

As President Trump and Congressional leadership emerge from a strategy meeting at Camp David this week, the infrastructure debate is heating up. There is now little doubt: Trump, Ryan, and McConnell are expected to announce that they intend to prioritize infrastructure on their 2018 to-do list. For cities, the coming focus on America’s long infrastructure

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Cities Partner with NREL to Forge Pathways from Energy Data to Decision Making

This is a guest post by Megan Day, AICP, Project Leader at the National Renewable Energy Lab. It was originally published on the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Solar Technical Assistance Team (STAT) Blog for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Cities Leading through Energy Analysis and Planning (Cities-LEAP) and State and Local Energy Data (SLED) projects. Cities are increasingly interested

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The Future of Equity in Cities

Cities are shaping the story of America. The success we have seen in our nation’s cities is clear, but the future of our urban places will be defined by how we work together — to lift all members of our communities in the future. Great places don’t rise from a blank slate — they use

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