Local Governance

Urban Data

2019 Certification for Cities Harnessing Data to Govern

The What Works Cities Certification recognizes cities across the country using data to inform local governance.

May 9, 2019 - Smart Cities Dive

Atlanta streetcar

Mayor Wants to Create Atlanta's First-Ever Transportation Department

The proposal to create a new department in the city of Atlanta devoted to traffic and potholes came in the State of the City speech delivered this week by Mayor Keisha Bottoms.

March 16, 2019 - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution


Making Sure More Federal Grant Money Actually Gets Spent

Northeastern University students provide some of the first comprehensive study into a widespread problem with the neglect of federal grant money.

April 16, 2017 - Northeastern University


Are States Too Active or Not Active Enough? Yes.

State governments like to limit local taxing authority but not local zoning—maybe they should do the exact opposite.

October 26, 2016 - Michael Lewyn

Los Angeles Downtown River

'Economic Development 2.0': California’s Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts

Since the dissolution of California's redevelopment agencies, the state has been fine-tuning a new and improved economic development tool: Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts.

May 2, 2016 - The Planning Report

Survey: Americans Buying In to the 'Golden Age of Local Innovation'

While Congress continues a spectacle of inertia and citizens grapple with a recovery fraught with inequity and conflict, local initiatives are taking control of the future direction of communities around the United States, according to a new survey.

March 18, 2015 - National Journal

Crowd Community Meeting

Get to Know Your Community

Seven incredibly useful market research tools for local governments.

February 5, 2015 - Civicly

English Cities Gain Historic New Powers

In what Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg calls a "dramatic power shift", England's largest cities have gained new powers to control their economies and transportation, reports Sam Lister.

July 6, 2012 - The Independent

A New Kind of Planning for a New Kind of Africa

Ernest Harsch interviews UN-Habitat Director Joan Clos on the challenges facing African cities in an age of unprecedented urbanization, from the abundance of slums to the threat of natural disasters.

June 27, 2012 - Independent Online

Is Local Governance Being Eroded By States?

Anecdotes about states usurping the power of cities to tax, spend, and regulate abound. But does the sum of these anecdotes add up to a systematic shift away from local governance? A new study attempts to answer this question, reports Eric Jaffe.

June 1, 2012 - The Atlantic Cities

Does England Need More Mayors?

On the occasion of recent elections in England that saw the defeat eight of the nine referendums seeking approval for directly elected mayors, Peter Hetherington laments the state of local governance in the country.

May 8, 2012 - The Guardian

Corruption of Small Cities in L.A. County Reflect a Failure of Governance

The city of Bell made news in 2010 with rampant misappropriation of public funds, but the problem is still (as ever) more widespread than anyone realizes.

February 8, 2011 - The Planning Report

Disconnected from Society? Gated Communities: Their Lifestyle versus Urban Governance

Peer Smets (VU University Amsterdam) investigates the socio-cultural impacts of specific patterns of urban segregation (gated communities) on local urban politics and urban governance.

December 28, 2009 - The Urban Reinventors Online Urban Journal

Demystifing the Development Process

The L.A. City Planning Commission president and architect, Bill Roschen, talks about how the commission is implementing clear and consistent policies toward their goal of "Doing Real Planning" in Los Angeles.

October 6, 2009 - The Planning Report

Top Books

An annual review of books related to planning.

Top Websites

The best of the Internet—since 2002.

Top Apps

Planning apps for a brave new world.

Top Schools

The definitive ranking of graduate planning programs.

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.