The Pew Charitable Trusts is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today's most challenging problems. Pew applies a rigorous, analytical approach to improve public policy, inform the public and stimulate civic life.
Most Americans either reside or work in cities, and the policies, programs, and services of those places touch people’s lives directly. They are vital to Americans’ quality of life, and whether cities succeed or fail will have an outsized impact on the nation’s economic recovery and long-term prosperity.
In the aftermath of the recession, many cities are contending with fiscal challenges, including lower property tax revenues and cuts in state and federal aid, as well as stubbornly high levels of poverty and unemployment. At the same time, they are grappling with profound demographic changes and economic shifts that predate the downturn. Federal and state lawmakers continue to debate major policy changes that will have significant local repercussions.
Pew’s American cities project conducts original research that analyzes and compares the biggest cities in the nation’s 30 largest metropolitan areas. We use that information to engage local, state, and federal leaders as they make policy choices that profoundly affect localities and those who reside there.
Nov 11, 2013 - This report examines how America’s big cities navigated the worst U.S. economic downturn since the Great Depression. It focuses on postrecession revenue as compared with earlier peaks, explores future prospects, and considers cities’ remaining fiscal challenges and their ability to manage future uncertainty while continuing to provide key services to taxpayers.
View: Full Report (Adobe PDF)
Mar 08, 2013 - This brief finds that 30 cities at the center of the nation’s most populous metropolitan areas faced more than $192 billion in unpaid commitments for pensions and other retiree benefits, primarily health care, as of fiscal 2009 and are employing a variety of strategies to address these shortfalls.
Jul 12, 2012 - A new brief from Pew’s American Cities Project finds America's largest cities are growing more rapidly than their surrounding regions, and the nation as a whole, according to recent Census data.
May 31, 2012 - State aid and property taxes are dropping simultaneously for the first time since 1980, while demand for government services continues to rise. More tough choices lie ahead as leaders look to balance the day-to-day needs of their communities with their long-term prospects.
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