The Office will play a role in devising urban policy at the federal level, but the ball was actually put into motion by the lack of action at the federal level for the past three decades.
"The process wasn't–and isn't–perfect. But in an odd way, you can credit Ronald Reagan. By declaring government "the problem," deauthorizing and/or defunding all the federal programs to aid cities and communities he could, Reagan created an urban policy vacuum. Neither George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton or George W. Bush did much to correct it. Increasingly, creative leaders in cities and metro regions realized they had to cope with their challenges, on their own, including innovative cross-border, metro-wide alliances."