Artist Rob Carter made the above video back in 2008. Using stop-motion animation, a stack of paper, and a heck of a lot of patience, he managed to profile the development of Charlotte, North Carolina from it's origins as a Native American trading path to the bustling metropolitan center it is today.
From Carter's website:
Charlotte is one of the fastest growing cities in the country, primarily due to the continuing influx of the banking community, resulting in an unusually fast architectural and population expansion that shows no sign of faltering despite the current economic climate. However, this new downtown Metropolis is therefore subject to the whim of the market and the interest of the giant corporations that choose to do business there. Made entirely from images printed on paper, the animation literally represents this sped up urban planners dream, but suggests the frailty of that dream, however concrete it may feel on the ground today. Ultimately the video continues the city development into an imagined hubristic future, of more and more skyscrapers and sports arenas and into a bleak environmental future. It is an extreme representation of the already serious water shortages that face many expanding American cities today; but this is less a warning, as much as a statement of our paper thin significance no matter how many monuments of steel, glass and concrete we build.
The video I've included is only the final three minutes of Carter's work. To view the full ten minute video, click here.