Baltimore is the first city that comes to mind, but maybe that's just my bias kicking in. In fair judgment, I still think Baltimore is improving tremendously. The population trend is on a modest upward trend right now. This is in part because of the crime rate dropping 40% from 1999 (the crime rate was very high in comparison), the rehabilitation of thousands of vacant homes, conversions of old buildings into condos, and the job opportunities are improving. Baltimore actually had a healthy net gain of jobs during 2004 including jobs in the construction sector (hence in response to a construction boom) and retail. Demand for housing, which is coming mainly from DC, is so high and supply is so low property values are soaring. And because Mayor O'Malley lowered the property tax, we could see more construction in the years ahead. It's looking good so far, but the school system and homicide rate are still a mess, but the city is so much better off than it was just 5 years ago.