13 City Transformations That Show What Man's Will Power Is Capable of!
The Mile High City has transformed itself over the past few decades, adding tons of new buildings along with tourist magnets like microbreweries and pedestrian malls.
#12 Beihai, Guangxi, China
There's no "before" picture here because until recently, there wasn't much to say about Beihai. That's all changing rapidly, though. Until relatively recently, Beihai was just a county-class town. Nowadays, it has over a million people and keeps growing-in fact, it's predicted to be the world's fastest growing urban area by 2020.
#11 Melbourne, Australia
The Docklands, a suburb of Melbourne, has an interesting history. Formerly a swamp, it was transformed into an industrial area in the late 19th century, only to become decrepit and nearly abandoned by the 1990s. Nowadays, a focused urban renewal project has completely revitalized the area.
#10 Buenos Aires, Argentina
Like Melbourne, the dockland area of Buenos Aires was falling into disuse - until an infusion of cash created a new commercial district, along with luxurious residential buildings.
#9 New York, New York, USA
The city so nice they named it twice! In the '70s, parts of New York weren't so nice. Subway cars were absolutely covered with graffiti and Times Square was a dirty, sleazy crime magnet. But the Big Apple has cleaned up its act dramatically in the years since.
#8 Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
South Africa's complicated history of apartheid means that urban renewal has come in fits and starts. Under apartheid, "urban renewal" was code for the forcible relocation of unwanted ethnic groups. Since South Africa shed the shackles of apartheid, however, cities like Cape Town have developed a booming tourist industry.
#7 Seoul, South Korea
Seoul's economic development has been nothing short of astonishing. Its GDP is fourth in the world, behind only Tokyo, New York, and Los Angeles. This image shows an old neighborhood that's about to be transformed into the kind of high-density buildings seen in the background.
#6 Singapore, Republic of Singapore
This sovereign city-state has become a major global business hub. Foreign investment has transformed its downtown core into a maze of gleaming skyscrapers.
#5 Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, India
This fast-moving industrial city in northern India is booming, with no signs of slowing down. Currently home to more than two million people, it's the second fastest-growing city in the world.
#4 Detroit, Michigan, USA
It's no secret that Detroit still has a ways to go. But if you look around Motown, there are already plenty of signs that a renewal is underway. Parts of the downtown area are attracting new business, and architects are hard at work creating green spaces and demolishing abandoned buildings.
#3 Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Dubai is synonymous with luxury, so it's easy to forget that before the oil money energized the city, it was really just a dusty desert outpost.
#2 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Perhaps the most historically significant city in the New World, Philadelphia has been going strong since it was founded way back in 1682. The City of Brotherly Love was in rough shape in the '80s, losing population and nearly declaring bankruptcy. Gentrification projects in the '90s helped reverse the trend of population loss and get Philly back on its feet.
#1 Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, along with many other parts of Japan, was virtually destroyed during World War II. Within a few short years of the end of the war, however, Japan kick-started its economy and started to rebuild. Today, Tokyo is the biggest city in the world by population.
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