Solving Cities

The White House plan to revive struggling cities

The White House plan to revive struggling cities

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Find out how the White House plans to turn struggling cities into "strong cities."

The White House announced a new pilot program yesterday, called "Strong Cities, Strong Communities," aimed at connecting cities and regions to the resources they need to bounce back from difficult economic times.

This pilot will help six cities to reach their goals of once again becoming thriving cities. The first group will include Detroit, Mich., Cleveland, Ohio, Memphis, Tenn., New Orleans, La., Fresno, Calif., and Chester, Pa.

Below is a video of Melody Barnes, President Obama's domestic policy adviser, explaining the program in more detail.

To be clear, the program is not about government telling the cities what to do. Rather, the program aims to helps cities meet their own specific goals.

So what exactly are some of these goals?

The White House post doesn't provide a lot of details about each city. But some of the details that are given suggest that increased transit accessibility and a revival of walkable downtowns that create a more vibrant economy are among the priorities.

But also with such an emphasis on fiscal responsibility, this program will help cities meet their goals with the resources they have available to them, says Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan.

Strong Cities, Strong Communities is about rebuilding some of America’s greatest cities, and doing so in a responsible way. Winning the future requires that we not only work harder, but that we work smarter as well, reducing our nation’s deficit while doing more to help cities that need and deserve our help.

It might be light in details, but it's certainly heavy on promise. And it's a program we'll continue to follow.

Photo: ifmuth/Flickr

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Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk is a freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure