January 13, 2009
By AVA TABB
Crain's Detroit Business
While the typical 20-something often flees the industrial city for the sparkling metropolis, Sarah Szurpicki, 27, and Abby Wilson, 29, have sunk their heels into the grit of the Rust Belt to plan a renaissance.
Just over a year ago, the best friends founded the Great Lakes Urban Exchange, or GLUE, a network of people dedicated to revitalizing the Great Lakes region.
The group's Web site, gluespace.org, connects 1,500 members across the country. The group has about 100 members in Detroit.
GLUE is linked by industrial cities plagued with population decline and the subsequent loss of tax base, racial segregation, inadequate public transportation and under-performing schools.
“Fortunately, our cities also have communities of people who see the possibility of a Rust Belt renaissance and who are working incredibly hard in a variety of ways to make these places better,” said Royal Oak resident Szurpicki, GLUE's director.
For more information on Tides Center project GLUE, see www.gluespace.org.