About 50 young adults gathered this week in Buffalo for the fledgling Great Lakes Urban Exchange -- a movement to polish the rusty image of 21 Midwestern cities and to push an agenda for urban revival.
Among them was Seth Beattie, 27, who heard first-hand that segregated neighborhoods, urban sprawl and a Rust Belt image are not unique to Cleveland.
"There's common problems, but common opportunities as well," said Beattie, an East Sider who is program manager for the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture. "There's a lot of opportunity for young people to step up to the plate and envision what they want their cities to look like."
I know that most Pittsburghers don't think of their city as Midwestern and I doubt that Buffalo is included in any conception of this region, but the Rust Belt and the Midwest do align fairly well. I'm still disappointed that GLUE isn't reaching across the border to the Ontario cities suffering from the same post-industrial distress.