Local Economies

Did Your Town Make This List of Best-Performing Cities?

The Milken Institute is out with its annual report ranking the economic performance of more than 400 metropolitan areas. Here’s what it takes to be a booming city.

Cities Stare Down Huge Budget Gaps

Growing expenses and lagging downtown recoveries are straining city finances as federal pandemic relief funds run out.

The Future of Cities Depend on Solving the Retail Puzzle

Retail sales have rebounded, but a new report says local and state officials will need to get creative to revive downtowns and help brick-and-mortar stores thrive again.

Urban Areas Are Adding People and Gobbling Up Land in Most States

An analysis shows the South, Southwest and Midwest saw the most growth in its urban areas.

The Governors Wading Deeper Into the Housing Crisis

Across the country, state leaders are putting the nation’s housing shortage at the center of their agendas this year. But it's still uncertain whether their proposals to solve the problem will gain traction and some question whether the plans go far enough.

Cutting Building Emissions is About More Than Gas Stoves

As an uproar over the future of gas appliances burns hot, it's overshadowing efficiency gains and other benefits states can achieve with building code updates.

How State and Local Leaders Can Address America’s Wealth Gap

COMMENTARY | The traditional method of offering incentives to corporations to help generate economic development in distressed areas has failed. It’s time to embrace a more people-centric approach called community wealth building.

Gulf Coast Passenger Rail to Restart as 17-Year Dispute is Resolved

Amtrak and freight railroads said they struck a deal to revive the route. It’s a bright spot for passenger rail advocates who hope to see service expand as new federal infrastructure funding flows.

Backlash Over New ‘Buy America’ Rules for Infrastructure Projects

State and local transportation agencies are concerned the feds are moving too fast in imposing tighter requirements, complicating a wave of new construction.

Best US Cities to Rent an Apartment

Five of the top 10 cities are small, including No. 1 Round Rock, Texas, near Austin.

Could Investments in Community Broadband Bridge the Digital Divide?

COMMENTARY | These locally owned and operated broadband networks can bring down prices, expand coverage and increase competition.

Home Sale Prices Fall Swiftly in Pandemic Boomtowns

Many homes for sale in July nationwide experienced price drops, especially those in cities that saw an influx of residents during the pandemic. Boise, Idaho, led the pack with nearly 70% of houses on the market falling in price.

The Rising Costs of Extreme Heat

Hot weather can be deadly. It’s also putting a dent in the nation's economy and forcing new expenses on states and localities.

Policing-for-Profit Undermines Public Safety. This Town Shows A Better Way

COMMENTARY | Relying on tickets to fund basic government services is a high-pain, low-gain proposition that does little for public safety.

Turning Equity Into Action and Getting Results

COMMENTARY | Government leaders must translate racial equity from an aspirational value to specific, tangible operating principles. Recent affordable housing efforts offer valuable examples of equity in action at the local level.

Looking to Become a Tech Hub? Level Up Your Local Talent In 3 Steps

COMMENTARY | If you want your city to be known as an up-and-coming tech magnet, develop your talent pool so you can attract investment.

How Local Governments Can Repurpose Empty Malls and Parking Lots

COMMENTARY | Cities and counties have numerous options to turn vacant stores and parking into spaces that can benefit everyone.

The Strict Drunk Driving Law That Could Become a Model for Other States

A study found that Utah’s lower 0.05% blood alcohol level reduced traffic deaths but beverage industry critics say the law showed negligible results.

A Looming Threat for City Budgets

The rise of remote work could permanently reduce the number of people coming into cities, eroding taxes and fees on everything from coffee sales to parking.

Extra, Extra! State Lawmakers Propose Tax Credit to Help Save Local Journalism

A New York bill would offer tax credits to offset the cost of salaries for journalists at local outlets, as well as a subsidy for their subscribers.