innovative cities detroit

Need is often a prime driver of innovation -- and Detroit needs a lot.

There's a new land bank charged with helping get people back into the city's thousands of abandoned homes. The land bank itself is part of a broader plan to reimagine all of Detroit's unused space -- a plan that's won points from experts.

Start-up incubators abound, with a vibrant technology district downtown. In the city's Midtown section, light manufacturing is making a comeback and other high-tech industries are taking hold, helped by funding from regional and national foundations. The two neighborhoods will soon be connected by a new light rail line -- a collaborative work between the public and private sectors. (Photo: Shutterstock) --S.H.

'I bought a house for $1,000'

First published October 7, 2014: 1:15 AM ET