A new Brookings Institution study, Where Did They Go? The Decline of Middle-Income Neighborhoods in Metropolitan America  details the increasing financial segegration of families as mixed middle income neighborhoods have increasingly disappeared. Such segregation has created new challenges in delivering public services and connecting low-income workers with jobs often created in higher-income areas.
The United States Conference of Mayors has just released, Mayors’ Resource Guide on Vacant and Abandoned Properties , a guide to strategies for cities to reclaim abandoned buildings and revitalize communities. The strategies outline range from preventing abandonment in the first place to how cities can gain control of them once abandoned and how best to foster reuse of them.
A three-day conference  in Philadelphia discussed that how cities can harness the energy of the "creative economy" of design, architecture, fashion, software development, peforming and fine arts, film production and other endeavors to build local economies. By fostering a tolerant environment open to innovation, communities have increasingly seen strong economic returns.