In search of the next hot neighborhood
has a piece (with the title above) with advice on how to identify up and coming neighborhoods where you can buy a house and expect extra-normal returns.
Key are location, historic building stock, and favorable demographics and nearby job centers.
What Live Baltimore calls the "one-over neighborhood" (see "Shaw (and Mid City East) as a one-over neighborhood: revitalization, displacement, gentrification as a function of critical mass and timing"), they call "the halo effect," quoting Stan Humphries from Zillow.
It does provide some cautionary examples of places that don't succeed, in part because of a lack of local jobs, or nightlife.
I like the article for the graphic of the tips.