Traditional downtowns are dead or dying in many US cities—what’s next for these zones?

COMMENTARY | Developers have overbuilt office and commercial space in US cities for decades. Now, in the wake of pandemic shutdowns, many downtowns face hard choices about the future.

Pocket parks emerge as a climate solution

Size doesn’t always matter. Even the smallest of green spaces can play a key role in mitigating climate impacts like extreme heat and poor air quality.

Can the future of passenger rail be found between Miami and Orlando?

The debut of Brightline service linking Miami to the central Florida tourist mecca is giving rail advocates hope that passenger rail will gain popularity elsewhere, too.

Transportation is feeling the heat

As cities nationwide get hotter, addressing extreme temperatures and their effects on roads, bridges and rail is becoming a priority.

What Arizona and other drought-ridden states can learn from Israel’s pioneering water strategy

COMMENTARY | Arizona is considering a multibillion-dollar desalination project to address its urgent water needs. Three water experts call for a go-slow approach and point to Israel as a role model.

States lose federal water funds to earmarks

Democrats and Republicans in Congress could divert nearly $1.5 billion from states for local funding.

Crunch time in Congress could hit state and local programs

The legislative logjam on Capitol Hill is backing up everything from child care to disaster funding. Plus, more news to use from around the country in this week's State and Local Roundup.

A capital requirement for broadband funding could exclude thousands of providers

A coalition of state broadband leaders said in a letter that a condition of the federal BEAD program would shut out all but the biggest providers.

Motels converted to house families at capacity, new homeless intake center expected to hit limit

The model of converting motels into shelter space has helped address underlying issues of homelessness by providing housing and individualized case management, but one county needs more of them.

Federal, state regulators prod utilities to consider technology for grid upgrade

The ‘grid-enhancing’ tech—popular in other countries—could reduce the need for new wires.

Cities struggle to solve the public restroom problem

There's a lack of public restrooms in U.S., which particularly affects the homeless. New policies and portable toilet models are helping to address the shortage.

Transit agencies scramble to piece together funding as ‘fiscal cliff’ looms

Ridership in San Francisco and New York remains below pre-pandemic levels. As the end of federal aid nears, these agencies are racing to shore up funding.

An emerging ‘greenium’? New research says green bonds cost governments less

Amid an ESG backlash in some states, the finding could lead to more governments seeking an ESG-related label for bonds that will fund socially or environmentally sustainable projects.

Higher minimum broadband speeds reflect internet’s growth

The FCC last raised the standard definition of broadband in 2015. Since then, demand from users has soared, prompting some to call for raising that standard as states prepare to build more infrastructure.

Using future, not just historical data projections could make state, local infrastructure designs more resilient

One county is baking sea level rise data projections into its building design requirements in an effort to prepare for the future effects of climate change.

Under new state law, Texas will bill electric vehicle drivers an extra $200 a year

The new registration fee is meant to make up for the state’s lost revenue from gasoline taxes that are used to pay for road construction and maintenance.

Feds seek help on harmonizing cyber regulations

The White House issued a request for information last month, having previously called for more alignment between various levels of government in its National Cybersecurity Strategy.

Cyber grant program gets a big funding boost

Nearly $375 million, or double the amount of money as last year, has been allocated to a federal initiative looking to help state and local governments address cybersecurity risks.

Tech breakthrough could boost states’ use of geothermal power

Backers think geothermal could power as much as 20% of the U.S. grid.