The homes and businesses in your city rely on effective water management to protect public health, treat stormwater, manage wastewater, and preserve a clean environment, but effective water management can be complex and costly. Integrated Water Management (IWM), or a “One Water” framework, emphasizes a coordinated approach to built infrastructure and natural watershed systems. It considers the urban water cycle as a single integrated system, in which all urban water flows are recognized as potential resources. Many cities are achieving better water quality or reducing costs by promoting conservation, right-sizing infrastructure, or restoring natural systems throughout the water cycle. Learn how your city can begin to implement Integrated Water Management, including how to build successful partnerships between agencies and utilities with different water oversight authority.

Health care disparities are increasingly evident throughout the American population, impacting the viability of our nation’s businesses, from Main Street shops to multinational corporations. Achieving health equity by improving the health and well-being of a diverse population should be a critical imperative for everyone. Local leaders can serve an important role in working collaboratively to connect people to meaningful health information, and identifying creative ways to engage people in health improvement. This panel discussion will feature experts who have delivered creative solutions for pre-diabetes, diabetes, cancer prevention and opioid addiction to overcome cultural and economic barriers to health and wellness within their communities. In addition, Cigna will share insights and innovations in connecting, communicating and educating clients and customers to help close disparities gaps.

In the face of tighter budgets and increased demand for services, many cities have moved in recent years to increase fees for service. The fastest growing source of municipal revenue, fees have great potential to help city budgets but also raise equity concerns. During this session, hear about the current trends in municipal revenues, including the most popular and innovative fee types, and understand why cities are increasing service fees. You’ll learn common criticisms of fees for service and how to ensure fees are both efficient and equitable. This interactive session will help you consider the impact of fees in your own city, no matter the size.

Cities continue to innovate in the ways they provide and alter spaces to keep kids active and build a culture of health. Join this workshop to better understand how cities can promote children’s physical, mental, social and environmental health through strategic decisions about land use and the programming of public space. Hear lessons learned and inspiring examples from the first three years of the NLC Cities Connecting Children to Nature initiative, and take home tools and resources on innovative ways your city can build a healthier environment for your youngest constituents.

Nearly a decade after the housing and financial crisis, housing in many cities is in the midst of strong price growth in both the homeownership and rental markets. Housing costs in these strong markets are an ever-present challenge with the impacts felt throughout nearly every issue confronting local leaders. With dwindling federal resources, city leaders in strong markets are facing daunting choices. Join this session to learn and discuss what cities can do to develop and preserve affordable and market-rate housing in a strong housing market environment.

Economic mobility studies show that youth work-based learning experiences like internships, apprenticeships and mentoring programs increase upward mobility for the youth who participate. And a stronger workforce translates to better economic development opportunities for your city. Attend this session to explore youth workforce development through an economic development lens. Learn a holistic approach to address employment needs for youth, including helpful strategies and programs like youth summer jobs programs that you can implement at home.

It seems that everywhere we look, there are new opportunities for and sources of useful data, but finding effective ways to apply that data to improve our communities often proves to be a challenge. Despite optimism around the potential of data to provide value-added services to a community, it can be difficult to find meaningful connections to existing programs and processes within an organization. During this interactive session, city leaders will learn how to engage data to increase cost effectiveness, innovation, and quality of life for their city. Learn ways to apply data to improve your budgeting process, performance management and city service delivery processes.

While violent crime continues to decrease in many communities across the country, the problem is far from eradicated. Many successful violence reduction efforts apply a public health framework to the challenge and rely on ongoing, intentional community engagement. Hear from a panel of three cities with innovative and successful initiatives, and better understand the connection between local, statewide and nationwide efforts. Take home best practices and lessons learned for developing and implementing a city-wide violence reduction policy in your own city.

Homelessness is a growing challenge facing city leaders, communities, businesses, veterans, families, youth and other vulnerable residents. While some cities have attempted short-term solutions targeting “quality of life” or nuisances from homeless individuals, others have instituted policies, laws, data practices, and programs that make progress toward housing and supporting the homeless and those at risk. Innovative cities and the national organizations supporting them will share what works to reduce the number of people who are homeless in the near and long-term. This interactive world café session will allow city leaders to have in-depth conversations with presenters on a variety of topics related to homelessness. Come ready to discuss your questions and challenges from home.

For close to 40 years, thousands of cities and towns across the country have used the Main Street Approach to revitalize their local economies in small towns, mid-sized cities and urban neighborhood commercial districts. In total, communities taking part in the Main Street program have generated $65.6 billion in public and private reinvestment, rehabilitated 260,011 buildings, and experienced a net gain of 556,960 jobs and 126,476 net new businesses. As any city leader knows, this level of impact does not occur by chance alone. The Main Street Approach provides municipalities with a practical, actionable framework to bring renewed vitality and enhanced quality of life to downtown. In this session you will learn through moderated roundtable discussions how the Main Street Approach has transformed communities large and small. Hear from elected officials and local Main Street program directors from urban districts and small towns to understand how Main Street works in action.