The regeneration of Manchester is an example to the rest of the country, the head of the Urban Task Force Lord Rogers has said.
Apartment blocks such as No.1 Deansgate have been built
A report has praised the city's innovative schemes as among very few in the UK which had international stature.
About 25,000 people now live in the city centre, many in converted warehouse apartments, compared with just 70 inhabitants in 1990.
Regeneration after the Commonwealth Games was also praised by Lord Rogers.
Following the IRA bomb in 1996, large areas of the city centre have been rebuilt, while areas near the Games stadium in east Manchester have also been revamped.
"About 10 years ago there were vast areas of Manchester, east Manchester for instance, which were really derelict - some of those areas were 80% derelict," he told the BBC.
"Everyone moves out except for the poor and the only chance you've got is to bring people back.
"Manchester has got not only an extremely successful centre but really has done a whole series of regeneration programmes which have been an example to us all."
Lord Rogers' report also warns that middle class families leaving inner cities could lead to "polarisation".
But the minister for housing, Yvette Cooper, said the trend was being reversed because of economic regeneration, changes to planning policy and new investment.