...when you hear the word Milwaukee, you might not automatically think of progressive urban revitalization. Maybe its because its nearby neighbor to the south, Chicago, casts such a large urban shadow (the ghost of Daniel Burnham ensures that). Maybe its another reason.
Whatever the case, this article and interview with John Norquist (former Milwaukee mayor/current CNU head) explains how Milwaukee has made a great comeback.
Definitely worth a read:
Shepherd: Why is Milwaukee beginning to see a revitalization?
Norquist: There is a lot of talk about the real estate market in downtown, how it's doing well and why it's doing well. There are all kinds of non-city-financed developments going on—big, small, infill and rehab—and it's spreading to the lower East Side. One of the reasons it's happening is because the city of Milwaukee regulatory system is fairly easy to use. There is an urban code now. So if you want to build an urban building, you do not need to get variances. It's a simplified process, unlike places like Cleveland, which has a pretty strong downtown, but neighborhood and housing development is weak.