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Highlights from the State of the Cities Report 2023 by NLC

Highlights from the State of the Cities Report 2023 by NLC
Highlights from the State of the Cities Report 2023 by NLC

On July 21st, the National League of Cities released its 10th State of the Cities report. This year we at Zencity partnered with NLC by contributing sentiment and satisfaction data for their analysis.

Not surprisingly, infrastructure ranked as the number 1 priority for mayors nationwide. What is surprising, though, is the low ranking of broadband and public transit within the infrastructure category. This leads me to question if the current federal government’s emphasis on broadband connectivity is warranted. Or maybe, since the federal government is moving forward at such a rapid pace, is this less of a priority for mayors?  

mayoral priorities
Image from page 7 of the report.

Additionally, recognizing that budget and management are on the mind of mayors is also telling. The availability of ARPA funding to stabilize local government budgets has now been offset by inflation and supply chain issues elevating the cost of government, especially in the area of wages and capital construction costs. To borrow a Yogi Berra phrase, “A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.”

Public safety is also at the forefront. The report cites, “according to data collected in 2022 from government social media and local media organizations, Zencity found that most of the discourse about violence, crime, and general public safety is negative, indicating low satisfaction and trust among residents.” This highlights the need to continually measure satisfaction and trust (something Zencity can help you do).

To read the full report and takeaways for cities, follow this link.

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