A narrow river, wedged between houses, streets, and shrubbery, is the clandestine artery of Wedding. It separates Wedding into north and south, east and west – yet, it still connects the people living here. Running down from the Bürgerpark Pankow, passing beneath Osloer Strasse, Pankstrasse and Gerichtstrasse, the Panke flows into the Nordhafen close to the Erika-Hess-Eisstadion – on sunnydays,you can smell the detergents emanating from the channel. On its way, the Panke takes its course past social housings, fast train tracks, old factory buildings, garden plots, and expensive townhouses. The river has a soothing effect, upstaging concrete and noise: in its thicket, it provides a sanctuary for all those looking for shelter. Moreover, it reflects the urban state of Wedding – the district abandons all things dear, yet dispensable at its banks.
In Detroit the automobile is the source of everything, for better or for worse. Three major American car manufacturers have their headquarters in Detroit: Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors. They put the city on the map. Well into the 1950s people were still coming here to find work, most of them were African American. Whereas they settled in the inner city where the factories were, white people moved out to the suburbs. Later, when the automobile industry started having problems and laying off workers, the inner city began to lose population, while surrounding areas remained intact. This is why the city is sometimes called the ›urban doughnut‹.
Cities are skyrocketing and spreading, people of different ethnicities and religions mix in confined spaces. Megacities with more than 10 or 20 million inhabitants now exist all over the world and resemble each other more and more. Slums or ghettos seem decades behind the centers where business people rush in between skyscrapers and crowded subways. In this series eight cities are merged into a megametropolis which combines the characteristics of all global cities.