Building Affordable Housing is Risky Business

Please note: This post is a collaboration between James Brooks and Michael Wallace at NLC.  For the past two days, The Washington Post has lambasted the Department of Housing and Urban Development and local housing authorities and community development corporations for failing to adequately manage programs that build or rehabilitate affordable housing. There is a

Continue reading

A Changing Paradigm: Cities and Regions Embracing Global Interdependence

Distrustful, inward-looking and even smug…U.S. local officials have been called it all when it comes to describing their attitudes toward strengthening global economic interdependence.  And this is part of a broader story about the U.S., that we are unwilling to look to global partners to help restore economic growth.  Perhaps in certain places at certain

Continue reading

An Immigrant’s Perspective: The Importance of Resource Access Programs

This post is by Michelle Burgess of NLC’s Center for Research and Innovation’s Municipal Action for Immigration (MAII) program. Imagine for a moment that you are an immigrant to the United States. You hope to make this new country your home, and yet, many of the customs and culture confuse you. Most likely, you have

Continue reading

Recent Advances in Bikeshare Systems from Miami Beach to Washington, DC

Bikeshare systems bring a number of economic and environmental benefits to cities, as previously outlined and in NLC’s new municipal action guide, Integrating Bike Share Programs into a Sustainable Transportation System.  Furthermore, they are attractive to residents and tourists, thereby contributing to a city’s reputation for livability.  Riding a bicycle as a means of transportation

Continue reading

Bikeshare Systems Contribute to Transportation Infrastructure Strategy

Bikeshare systems are sprouting across the U.S. at a heartening pace.  Motivated by a combination of factors – including rising oil prices that discourage automobile use, public health concerns and a desire to increase physical activity, efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, and the need to more efficiently use urban space –

Continue reading

Looking Forward by Looking Back: Earth Day 41 Years Later

When Gaylord Nelson developed the concept of Earth Day 41 years ago, he was looking for a way to raise the profile of environmental issues at the federal level and garner political support to address a visibly ailing environment across the country. While first attempts, including a Presidential tour of national parks, began a conversation,

Continue reading

Making it go “away” – Waste reduction strategies for cities

Paper, tires, yard trimmings, glass, electronics, batteries, food, wood, leather, plastics – the municipal solid waste stream is as complex in composition as it is in its disposal. And while not necessarily the most glamorous of topics (it’s is after all just plain “trash” to most), waste management and disposal represent an important and expensive

Continue reading

Budget Compromise is Only the Beginning

This week we’ve been receiving a lot of phone calls on the budget compromise and where cities came out. NLC, in coordination with cities and towns across the nation, fought hard to preserve priority investments in cities. The issues NLC identified as priorities – like Community Development Block Grants – help our cities get back

Continue reading

Touching the Tigers

The most extraordinary heroes generally prove to be average and ordinary folk. Glen Beneda was one case in point. A fighter pilot in World War II, it was his actions after the war that defined the true measure of his heroism.  Beneda fought the Japanese in the air over China as a member of the

Continue reading

Which Comes First: the Neighbors or the Neighborhood?

The stretch of land has all the attributes to warm the cockles of a city planner’s heart. Bordering the west side is a major sports venue and the nescient development that often accompanies such a facility. At the eastern edge is a moderate density mixed-use federal government property having a significant historical presence and value.

Continue reading