Category: environment

200 Local Governments Recognized as Solar Leaders by SolSmart

On May 1, Lee’s Summit, Missouri became the 200th local government to embrace clean, renewable solar energy by achieving SolSmart Gold designation. Launched two years ago in April 2016, SolSmart is a national designation and technical assistance program funded by the US Department of Energy that promotes the use of best practices by local governments

Continue reading

‘Space to Grow’ Celebrates National Infrastructure Week

This is a guest post by Allison Fore, Public and Intergovernmental Affairs Officer of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. Last week, leaders from across America convened in Washington for Infrastructure Week 2018, which focuses on the impact of infrastructure on the economy and society and how to make improvements for the 21st century. Cities across

Continue reading

What Happens When Wildlife Conservation and Economic Impacts Collide?

According to the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services (FWS) may designate land a “critical habitat” for an endangered species. The act mandates that FWS consider the economic impact of specifying an area as a critical habitat. FWS may exclude an area if the benefits of excluding it outweigh the benefits

Continue reading

Eleven Cities Join Cities Connecting Children to Nature Initiative

Regular access to nature brings multiple benefits to children, including improved mental and physical health and increased opportunities for social and emotional learning. With these benefits in mind, Cities Connecting Children to Nature (CCCN), a joint initiative of the National League of Cities and Children & Nature Network, welcomes 11 new cities to mobilize municipal

Continue reading

Cities Should Shift Diets to Meet Climate Goals

This is a guest post by Steve Cohen, Food Policy and Program Manager in the City of Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, and Chloë Waterman, Senior Food Campaigner for Friends of the Earth U.S. Today, with the federal government denying the contribution of humans to climate change and dismantling climate action policies, Americans are increasingly reliant on

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

What Happens Now to the “Waters of the United States”?

In National Association of Manufacturers v. Department of Defense the Supreme Court held unanimously that a legal challenge to the definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) must begin in a federal district court not a federal court of appeals. What this ruling means for the 2015 WOTUS definitional rule is unclear. As Justice

Continue reading

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),

Continue reading