I saw this article today about Detroit. The guy in the article espouses leveling a good chunk of Detroit and rebuilding. If done right, this could be a very compelling proposition. You level a bunch of properties which will create jobs. Make sure those jobs go to city dwellers. Then you have to plan how to rebuild. Rebuilding though is not just putting up homes, it's incorporating public transportation (forget that you were the auto capital of the world at one time as it's no longer relevant) and retail spaces, public parks and places for larger businesses. It's all about the planning. All of those jobs have to go to city dwellers in my mind. You want a job rebuilding? Then get your ass inside the city limits and support it. Chicago does that to some degree as all public employees have to live within city limits (police, fire, teachers, etc.) I believe.
Business is the key though so think about the future and what type of jobs will be "good" jobs. Maybe to start, you even build a refinery or something that's NOT so great, but employs a bunch of people and you can make tax revenues off of. Maybe a refinery isn't the way to go, but you know what I mean. And develop the lake front area! It has to be much better than it is today. It has to be a destination.
Would love to hear your ideas. There's no reason Detroit can't be a Milwaukee or a Pittsburgh. It doesn't have to descend into being a Cleveland.