“Cities change. It is their nature.”

Cities change. It is their nature. Those which stop changing stop being cities. Cities that change entirely, though, cease to be themselves. If there are sane grounds for hope, they lie in how resilient the social capital accumulated in cities turns out to be. Detroit today is, all agree who work there, a harsh place, haunted by the past, but one with real civic resources that are being called on for its renewal. The clashes between local people and new arrivals, in inner-city Detroit as elsewhere, are real, and a fit subject for a novel or a film or a real oral history; but they are not poisonous or intractable.

Adam Gopnik, “Naked Cities”, The New Yorker (5 October 2015), 85.