It's a city in crisis but with potential for a big comeback. Despite an ailing auto industry and the highest jobless rate in the nation, Detroiters are determined to make their hometown thrive once again. For the next year, CNNMoney will focus on that challenge.

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Austin Black II
Austin Black II
Austin Black II, real-estate agent and the president of City Living Detroit, a nonprofit that promotes urban living. He is seen standing in the Guardian Building.
Lived in Detroit: My whole life
Favorite spot: Guardian Building

People think of Detroit as a declining industrial town, but we have absolutely gorgeous architecture.

The Guardian Building, which is a national landmark, is especially breathtaking. I live about a mile or two from the skyscraper. It's bright and bold and art deco, made all of brick. It's just a beautiful structure inside and out, and it could never be replicated.

To me, it represents when the auto industry and Detroit as a whole were booming.

Why I love Detroit: It's one of the last cities to have a rebirth. I'm 28, and most of my friends my age own their own houses and businesses. You can't go to New York at 28 and start a business, unless you have a ton of money. A lot of us have experience in other urban areas, and we come back.

I see Detroit shifting from dependence on the auto industry, given the reality of what's going on. I think entrepreneurship and emerging technology will drive Detroit.

When I show real estate, I see young people and empty nesters coming back. It's evolving into an urban center. It's exciting to see.

NEXT: Patricia Nemeth

Last updated October 14 2009: 2:15 PM ET
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