Mayor Barrett takes his "Strong Neighborhoods" program to CityLab conference in Los Angeles

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett took part in the 2014 CityLab conference in Los Angeles hosted by The Atlantic in partnership with The Aspen Institute and Bloomberg Philanthropies. CityLab is one of the most innovative programs of the year, bringing together more than 300 of the world’s top mayors, urban experts, city planners, writers, technologists, economists, and designers. The goal of the three-day program is to foster constructive dialogue and create scalable solutions for city leaders to share with their constituencies across the world.

Mayor Barrett discussed his Strong Neighborhoods Plan during the Block by Block: Inclusive Approaches to Building Better Neighborhoods discussion. The panel also featured Ron Daniels, president of Johns Hopkins University, Rudy Espinoza, executive director of Leadership for Urban Renew Network and Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges.

The discussion focused on how developing smart, inclusive, approaches to neighborhood revitalization is an increasingly important challenge for city leaders. Topics included: How cities balance preservation with the need to promote economic growth, the healthiest approaches to neighborhood revitalization - fiscally and socially, how developers and city planners can stay ahead of concerns about gentrification and other negative socio-economic implications that development often brings, and how arts and culture can be better incorporated to create well-rounded communities.

Mayor Barrett spoke about Milwaukee’s successful response to foreclosures since 2008, with a focus on Milwaukee’s strategies to target efforts and work with a range of partners to stabilize neighborhoods.

The Mayor’s 2015 proposed budget announced last week allocates $10.6 million to the Strong Neighborhoods Plan, which builds upon the nationally-recognized success of the federally-funded Neighborhood Stabilization Program from 2009-13.