What can demonstration projects teach us about sustainability?

Large- scale demonstration projects—ones that are focused on combining and testing various physical systems within a confined geography– are increasingly gaining popularity with cities interested in pushing the sustainability envelope.   As someone who readily transitioned from architecture to urban planning (eager to address some of the larger-scale systems questions that a section drawing didn’t quite

Continue reading

The Latest in Economic Development

This week’s blog highlights the results of a new small business survey, identifies how occupational licenses potentially hurt job growth, explores Oregon’s economic gardening strategy, and looks at the “Whole Foods Effect” and the implications of its new store in Detroit. Comment below or send to common@nlc.org. Get the last edition of “The Latest in

Continue reading

Cybersecurity: A Crucial Issue for Local Governments

Right now, Congress is considering a myriad of bills on cybersecurity.  The most pitched public debate has surrounded the private sector, civil liberty, and privacy concerns.  However, state and local government participation is crucial to securing our citizens’ safety.  That’s why NLC and other state and local organizations sent leading stakeholders in Congress a letter with

Continue reading

Does it Pay to Charge?

No one wants to pay to travel.  But if it means less traffic and quicker travel times, I could get on board with the idea.  In fact, I am on board.  I live in Montgomery County, Maryland where I have access to the recently opened MD 200, the Intercounty Connector, or ICC as it’s more

Continue reading

The Latest in Economic Development

This week’s blog highlights the rapidly changing world of manufacturing, a new social-enterprise-focused class at the University of Virginia, a closer look at China’s trade surplus, and the opening of a Chinese Import-Export Bank in Baltimore. Comment below or send to common@nlc.org. Get the last edition of “The Latest in Economic Development” here. The world

Continue reading

Kids Living in Combat Zones…in U.S. Cities

Which group do you think has higher rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): American soldiers deployed to combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, or American children living in high-crime urban neighborhoods who are exposed to community violence?  At a Congressional briefing held a week ago, Dr. Howard Spivak, Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control

Continue reading

“Business Friendly” in a New Era of Economic Development

There have been several reports recently connecting local and state tax environments to small business and entrepreneurial growth. In Business Tax Index 2012, the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council created state scores based on 18 different tax measures that indicate the cost of their tax system on entrepreneurs and small businesses. Similarly, the Tax Foundation

Continue reading

The Latest in Economic Development – 4.26.2012

This week’s blog highlights the implications of an export-oriented US, explores the oft-ignored US service export sector, explains the implications of the SBA’s definition of “small business,” clarifies realistic expectations for microfinance, and links to a McKinsey report on factors contributing to trends in employment. Comment below or send to common@nlc.org. Get the last edition

Continue reading

Concluding NLC’s Delegation to Europe: Day 5 [Hamburg, Germany]

After a full week of traveling, touring, meetings, and presentations we reach the end of NLC’s International Sustainability Exchange. We began our day with a meeting at the Ministry of Urban Development and Environment where delegates engaged with leading authorities on efforts that the City of Hamburg is taking to reduce carbon emissions while at

Continue reading

NLC’s Delegation to Europe: Day 4 [Hamburg, Germany]

The delgation’s second day in Hamburg began with a boat tour of the Port of Hamburg, one of the most productive ports in the world.  Delegates were able to converse with representatives of the Hamburg Port Authority and witness several of the innovative practices happening at the Port, including technologies for shorepower connections and automated

Continue reading