One of my heroes is mentioned at Worldchanging:
One major solution will be fixing the neighborhoods that have good bones. Some inner-ring suburbs already offer proximity to an urban center, and a dense Main Street-type area to concentrate on. Creating regional transit plans that extend public transportation out to that inner ring is a big step. Transit encourages compact development where businesses can thrive and residents can escape auto-dependence. In February, sustainable cities expert Peter Newman told us how this solution has worked for his hometown of Perth; in Germany, a transit-served suburb has already even gone as far as to adopt a “car free” standard.