Category: environment

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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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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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

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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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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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When Talking Infrastructure, Remember the Municipal Securities Market

This is a guest post by Susan Collet, Director of Government Relations for the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board. The National League of Cities’ City Fiscal Conditions 2017 study arrived this fall at a time of heightened discussion at the White House and on Capitol Hill regarding policies that can spur more investment in the nation’s infrastructure.

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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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Countdown Begins on Volkswagen Settlement Funds for Cities

In October 2016, the U.S. government approved a $14.7 billion settlement against Volkswagen for violations of the Clean Air Act. As part of the settlement, $2.7 billion was set aside into an Environmental Mitigation Trust and will be given directly to states to fund projects to reduce nitrogen oxide at the local level. Cities can

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Confronting Climate Change at City Summit 2017

Whether you’re a newly elected official or a seasoned public servant, the Sustainable Cities Institute (SCI), a National League of Cities program, provides local leaders innovative ideas and personal connections necessary to address challenges related to local energy policy, environmental quality, utility management, and climate-related disasters. This year at City Summit in Charlotte, several sessions

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