Saturday, September 12, 2009
Former Pitt Students Think Rust Belt Cities Should Stick Together Like GLUE
It was only after Abby Wilson and Sarah Szurpicki, two former University of Pittsburgh students, had traveled to several cities and abroad that the seeds of the Great Lakes Urban Exchange (GLUE) were sown. "We were tired of the monolithic negative stories about older industrial cities in the Rust Belt," said Wilson from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Szurpicki, her GLUE project partner from Detroit, Michigan couldn't agree more. They spent a year, from fall of 2007 through the summer of 2008, traveling the Great Lakes region and beyond, gathering stories, selling the idea of a project and fine tuning it. They were most fascinated by the "forward looking visions and backward glancing nostalgia," they heard from city residents and officials, deciding that if they could catalogue the success stories, these models could be shared and replicated all over the Rust Belt. Thus the Great Lakes Urban Exchange--GLUE--was born.