Don’t Discount the Value of a Library in a Digital World

Great cities have great central libraries. Some are architecturally significant such as in Seattle or Copenhagen. Others are signature buildings that embody the civic spirit and unique character of a community, such as in Fort Smith, Arkansas where the citizens voted to tax themselves in order to build a main library building and neighborhood branches.

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Todays unemployment numbers

The following post was written by Neil Bomberg, program director in NLC’s Center on Federal Relations: November’s unemployment numbers, which were released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics or BLS, provide further evidence that the economy is continuing to improve after suffering the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. At first glance, last

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Technology Wars Yield Efficiencies for Cities

Pick up nearly any magazine devoted to business, finance, technology or consumers and you will learn the details of the war being waged by corporate kingpins Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook. Ostensibly this competition is supposed to be good for the average consumer whether individual or corporate. This assumes of course that the average consumer

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Green Riverside Impresses at the Congress of Cities

Last week, I arrived at the Congress of Cities in Phoenix, both excited and anxious about meeting our members and working a large conference for the very first time.  Would I be in the right place at the right time? Would I have answers for the questions that our members might ask?  For the most

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Innovation in city programs: How do we know it when we see it?

Amid persistent attention placed on cities struggling to make ends meet, cities across the country are also engaged in countless efforts to improve the quality of life for their residents. In many cases, these quality of life improvements are strong ammunition against local hardship. It’s easy for cities to get bogged down in their own struggles, but in order

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CITY YEAR — Always Ready!

Freedom Plaza, across from city hall in Washington, D.C., is presently the camp site for Occupy Wall Street, the anti-corporate greed campaign sweeping the nation. While I have no philosophical problems with the protest agenda, I do resent the fact that their use of the Plaza has displaced the morning calisthenics of the Washington cadre

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More Than Just A Market

I never thought of the present-day farmers market as the modern equivalent of the Greek Agora or the Roman Forum. Certainly a marketplace, like the historic Eastern Market near the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., is a community space for multiple purposes only one of which is commercial. On any given day, but especially on

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Go Tell the Spartans

Lansing, Michigan – The Spartans of old were the lightly armed, highly determined warriors that defended the pass at Thermopylae in 480 B.C. against a vastly superior force of Persians, bent on the complete destruction of Greece. The modern Spartans are the lightly armed and highly determined municipal officials who battle to prevent Michigan from

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America in the Last Lane

As any competitive or recreational swimmer knows, the swimming pool has a strict hierarchy of performance and expectation. At one end of the pool are the fast lanes and at the other end are the slow lanes. In the fast lanes are found the competitive tri-athletes, the varsity collegiate swimmers and the Olympic wannabees. For

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