Like so many visions of the future in Baltimore, it begins with a wrecking crane. On the Baltimore City Housing Authority's web site, you can watch a clip from WMAR-TV news dated Oct. 26, 2006. Then-Mayor Martin O'Malley, nine days before the gubernatorial election, is sitting at the controls of a Cat tractor, taking the first ceremonial shot at the 60-year-old, 979-unit Uplands Apartments complex. The tractor's shovel slams into a large chunk of a red-brick, two-story building at the corner of Swan Avenue and Frederick Road in West Baltimore. The fire department hoses down the dust. Cut to O'Malley, missing the hard hat he'd worn in the previous shot, surrounded by members of the local community and speaking of a new Uplands--a neighborhood, he says, where "people with different backgrounds, of different races, and, yes, with different incomes can raise children in decent housing."