By Paul S. Grogan, Tony Proscio
Comeback Cities shows how innovative, pragmatic tactics for ameliorating the nation's urban ills have produced results beyond anyone's expectations, reawakening America's toughest neighborhoods. In the past, big government and business working separately were unable to solve the inner city crisis. Rather, a blend of public-private partnerships, grassroots nonprofit organizations, and a willingness to experiment characterize what is best among the new approaches to urban problem solving. Pragmatism, not dogma, has produced the charter school movement and the police's new focus on "quality-of-life" issues. The new breed of big city mayors has welcomed business back into the city, stressed performance and results at city agencies, downplayed divisive racial politics, and cracked down on symptoms of social disorder. As a consequence, America's inner cities are becoming vital communities once again. There is much yet to be done, but Grogan and Proscio base their optimism on a number of trends that could dramatically multiply the impact of the grassroots community development industry. The authors point to unprecedented access to capital and credit, astonishing reductions in violent crime, and substantial overhauls of public housing, welfare, and public schools already underway as harbingers of an inner-city revival. Through a mixture of analysis and storytelling, Grogan and Proscio argue convincingly that the conditions are ripe - the infrastructure is in place - to turn a source of national shame into a source of national pride.
- Boulder, CO