Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama promised the country's mayors Thursday that his budget for the upcoming fiscal year will include a series of investments meant to spark a long-term economy recovery in metropolitan areas.
"We're working every day to get our economy back on track and put America back to work, because while Wall Street may be recovering, you and I know your main streets have a long way to go," Obama said in a White House address to the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
"The budget that I'll present next month ... (will reflect) our strategy to build economically competitive, environmentally sustainable, opportunity-rich communities that serve as the backbone for our long-term growth and prosperity."
Noting that unemployment in cities remains "far too high," the president laid out a three-pronged approach for new urban growth.
First, Obama said, the administration will focus on building "strong, regional backbones" for the economy by "coordinating federal investment in economic and workforce development."
Second, the White House will turn its attention to the creation of "more livable" and environmentally friendly communities.
"When it comes to development, it's time to throw out old policies that encourage sprawl and congestion, pollution, and ended up isolating our communities in the process," Obama argued. "We need strategies that encourage smart development linked to quality public transportation that bring our communities together."
Third, the president said, the federal government will focus on creating what he referred to as "neighborhoods of opportunity."
"Many of our neighborhoods have been economically distressed long before this crisis hit," he said. "So we'll invest in innovative and proven strategies that change the odds for our communities."
Obama cited the example of the "Choice Neighborhoods" program, which focuses on alternative affordable housing programs that vary according to a community's specific needs.
The president is scheduled to release his fiscal year 2011 budget in February.