Rebuilding America's Legacy Cities: New Directions for the Industrial Heartland
Editor(s) Alan Mallach

Rebuilding America's Legacy Cities: New Directions for the Industrial Heartland, features chapters by thirteen national and international urban policy specialists and is a much needed addition to the land use and urban policy discussion.

"Legacy cities" offer both resources for and impose burdens on the larger economy. They contain untapped resources of human capital, and billions of dollars in sunk infrastructure investment in roads, transit, sewer and water facilities, parks, and other public facilities. They contain major networks of educational and medical facilities, including such renowned centers as Johns Hopkins, Carnegie-Mellon, and the Cleveland Clinic, while they continue to serve as regional and national centers of culture, art, sport, and entertainment. These assets and resources are of critical importance for a nation struggling with rebuilding its economy and finding its course in the twenty-first century.

This volume plays a critical role in building engagement by reshaping the policy conversation about America’s legacy cities at the local, state, and federal levels. It tries to answer a central, salient question: How can change best be brought about? What attitudes and past practices need to be changed and what concrete steps need to be taken in order to put these cities on the path to regeneration as smaller, healthier cities?

Rebuilding America's Legacy Cities is available on

See photos from the book launch at Brookings Institution here. 

Link to separate pdf's of individual chapters for download.

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Sonal Shah

Sonal Shah is Professor of Practice and founding Executive Director of The Beeck Center for Social Impact & Innovation at Georgetown University.  She served as Director of the Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation in the White House from 2009 to 2011, where she coordinated government efforts to aid innovative nonprofits and social entrepreneurs. An American Assembly Next Generation Fellow in 2009, Shah managed and implemented two of's global development initiatives and served on President Obama's Transition Board.