Large or small, America's cities have had a difficult time generating admiration, respect, or understanding. They have served the nation as sources of commerce, finance, and the arts. They have taken millions of new Americans from their point of entry and helped newcomers elevate themselves economically into the American mainstream. In recent years, the greatest of cities have become command centers of a new global economy. However, the headlines from urban America proclaim riot, decline, and despair.This book is different, it is about solutions: the breakthroughs - the indicators that can serve as models for neighborhoods, communities, and cities in the twenty-first century. In vivid, colorful, and provocative prose, authors Neal R. Peirce and Robert Guskind describe six innovative experiments in urban revitalization: the winners of the Rudy Bruner Award for Excellence in the Urban Environment. The Bruner Award recognizes and rewards innovative projects that blend empowerment, diversity, and equity with effective design, social responsibility, and economic viability.Peirce and Guskind describe the premises underlying each project, the barriers that were overcome, and the results that were achieved. They also provide the vital lessons of what made these efforts work, and lessons that stand as requirements for successful projects elsewhere: openness to innovation; decentralized decision-making; broad-based participation; empowerment of locally driven solutions. This is essential reading for students, policy-makers, planners, and all those seeking a glimpse of a future in which we can take pride in being Americans.