Where once large swathes of Detroit stood vacant and decaying, today this Maker City’s economy is so vibrant — and the influx of talent so great — that Motor City now faces a housing shortage. Last year, housing prices recorded spikes of 11%. In Downtown neighborhoods, it’s not uncommon to see $300,000 condos or the occasional $1 million loft.

In 2011, the Live Midtown program was launched by the Henry Ford Health System, Wayne State University and Detroit Medical Center to encourage workers to move to the area by offering $2,500 in annual rent assistance or a $20,000 down payment…

High above the Pittsburgh skyline, the gleaming 64-story skyscraper once known as US Steel Tower today bears very different insignia. In bold white capitals, some 250 metres above street level, the initials UPMC — University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre — testify to the seismic economic shift that’s fast changing Pittsburgh’s fortunes.

Following the collapse of the steel industry in the 1990s, the city in which Hillman, Heinz and Carnegie made their fortunes switched focus from primary metals to education and medicine (‘eds and meds’). …


Rotterdam was once the industrial heartland of South Holland, where ocean-bound behemoths took shape beneath the hands of the nation’s finest shipbuilders. Today, despite the disappearance of SS Rotterdam and her kin from its docks, this still-vibrant port city is testament to how innovation can help bring an ailing metropolis back to life.

Last year, Rotterdam’s status as a city of the future was cemented when Lonely Planet ranked it among the world’s top 10 cities, ‘a veritable open-air gallery of Modern, Postmodern and contemporary construction’. At about the same time, Cambridge Innovation Center Founder and CEO Timothy Rowe wrote…

Laura Snook

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