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Michigan, U.S.A.
Welcome to a legendary icon of Americana, from music to cars to green living and back to music.
Nicknamed "Rock City" by Kiss, Detroit is Michigan's most populous city, home base to the iconic record label Motown, and is the ever-changing metropolis that spawned artists who have altered the course of American music - and thus culture - forever. Since the late 1940s, Detroit's prominent nightlife set the stage for a musical laboratory that few cities, if any, can match. Today, it is also a laboratory of city-wide renovation. Detroit's auto industry is still critical to the nation's economy, but it is far from the automotive World capital of decades ago. The recent decline of the region continues to inspire a variety of revolutionary cultural heroes and forward-thinking companies that want to push the city into its next era. The city's riverfront and historic buildings are a focus of major redevelopment projects while passionate entrepreneurs convert derelict homes and buildings into experiments of eco-friendly living and sustainable design. Updated apartment and office buildings now operate at 15% to 30% of their original energy expenditure, thanks to a combination of advanced technologies, like solar panels, and simple changes, like reducing nights shift to reduce light use. Moving between Detroit's neighborhoods can feel like traveling between two completely different worlds. Downtown, Midtown and New Center now feature revitalized cutting-edge buildings and evolving infrastructures with high-population densities, but in other neighborhoods, whole blocks consist of nothing but abandoned houses. City officials are converting some of this abandoned land for public use, and are attempting various initiatives to breathe new life into some of these sparsely populated areas. Yet this city, which has been troubled by seemingly unconquerable problems for decades, looks more and more like the future of American living, setting the stage for eco-friendly urban landscapes and serving as a model for urban revival.
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