Detroit builds things—cars, of course, but plenty more. Since the early 1900s, Detroit, Michigan, has had one of the largest concentrations of factories in the country, and this industrial muscle continues to give Detroit, increasingly popular with tourists, its style, look and pace.

These industries have also given Detroit a lingering reputation as a rust-belt relic plagued with crime, a declining population and racial divisions. However, in recent decades, Detroit has begun to retool itself into a healthier urban center with greater tourism appeal.

New businesses, residential developments, and arts and entertainment ventures, mainly in downtown Detroit, are contributing to a renewed optimism. Many of Detroit's historic structures have been renovated and converted into living spaces. New Detroit bars and restaurants have sprouted up on blocks that were once dormant, creating a sense of community where there had been none.

The impressive Compuware headquarters has brought more than 4,000 employees to the city and marks Detroit's new focus on high tech over industry. New casinos and world-class sporting events, including the 2006 NFL Super Bowl, have sparked a flurry of development and breathed new life and tourism appeal into several sections of downtown Detroit.

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