Once America's capitalist dream town, Detroit is one of our country's greatest urban failures, having fallen the longest and the farthest. But the city's worst crisis yet has managed to do the unthinkable: turn the end of days into something of a laboratory for the future. Urban planners, land speculators, and utopian environmentalists have been drawn to Detroit's decaying, nothing-left-to-lose frontier.
Detroit-area native Mark Binelli has chronicled this convergence in Detroit City Is the Place to Be: The Afterlife of an American Metropolis. Throughout the city's "museum of neglect" – its swaths of abandoned buildings and miles of urban prairie – he tracks both the blight and the signs of its repurposing.