By Rachel Dovey.
In a year marked by fires, hurricanes, drastic temperatures and $306 billion in climate-related damages, two-thirds of U.S. mayors believe that cities should take action on climate change, even if their efforts will cost them. Reflecting national trends, however, their views are highly polarized, with 84 percent of Democratic mayors but only 24 percent of Republican mayors saying they’d trade economic growth for climate mitigation — a change from just three years ago, when Republicans were more likely to favor the exchange.
That’s one finding from the just-released 2017 Menino Survey of Mayors, an annual study from the Boston University Initiative on Cities. Its authors ask mayors nationwide a series of questions — focusing on topics like infrastructure or poverty — then pool their responses and slice them by region and party affiliation. This year’s study was based on the responses of 115 mayors.
It finds that, along with climate mitigation, housing was a top concern among mayors of both parities last year — although they tended to disagree along partisan lines on how, exactly, to combat their region’s affordability issues.
City leaders highlighted a number of ways they’d like to see housing in their cities change. Most commonly, they’d like to see an increase of affordable multi-bedroom units. They’d also like to see an increase in home-ownership rates, and the modernization of older housing stock.