Four months ago, I set off on my Xref journey to study cities as living organisms and to uncover what implications, if any, the health of the city has on its populous and vice versa. By visiting three cities in milestone stages of life I hoped to discover how exactly cities are born, what can make them survive for millennia and what can drive a city to its death. I started in Detroit, known the world over as the once great American manufacturing metropolis which has suffered a painfully tragic decline over the past several decades. What I found, in short, was that the Detroit we used to know, “The Motor City,” is most likely gone forever. But something new is growing in its place—a smaller, leaner city, steeped in the old and vehemently proud of its heritage yet moving slowly in the only direction it can, forward. The second part of the study took me across the world to Dubai, UAE, and Istanbul, Turkey, two cities drastically different from Detroit and each other in health, history and culture.
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