This book was completed shortly after the inauguration of Barack Obama, the first U.S. President in half a century to come from an older city with an industrial past. Among the high priorities identified at the start of the new administration were better public education for a new-economy workforce and the repair and replacement of aging infrastructure, two vitally important issues for postindustrial cities. Although a fresh, informed federal perspective on the needs of older cities is welcome, new federal initiatives, by themselves, will not be sufficient to reverse the trend of economic disinvestment that has persisted in these places for more than half a century. Urban government, business, and civic leaders need to make more effective use of available local resources to promote their economic self-interest and reposition their cities for future success. Nowhere is this need for local self-help more evident than with respect to the issues of investment and development in urban downtowns and neighborhoods.