The Surdna Foundation is developing a Sustainable Environments Storybank, the focus of which is to feature innovative ways to update infrastructure and foster healthy, sustainable and just communities. In this vein, Surdna has asked Reconnecting America and other Surdna grantees to contribute real-life stories about the green economy and sustainable infrastructure.
Spartanburg, South Carolina, has a classic American history like many cities in the south. The region is naturally rich in resources and fertile farmland, and they profited heavily from the many cotton mills dotting the riverbanks of Spartanburg during the post-civil war era. Spartanburg’s position as a transportation hub earned it the nickname “Hub City” and brought even more profitability to the region as goods were delivered across the country. In the midst of the conflicts and movements of the 20th century, the city suffered the loss of its textile industry and has been working ever since to reinvent itself. In the 1990s, Spartanburg won large international contracts that laid the framework for a new type of economic prosperity; it is now the headquarters for BMW and other multinational companies.