Grand Rapids’ announces new sister city: Gangnam District in South Korea

Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids leaders and members of the Gangnam-gu Sister Cities Committee pose for a group photo. L-R: City Commissioner Kurt Reppart, Commissioner Nathaniel Moody; Leonardo Tombelli, president of Grand Rapids Sister Cities International; Kim McLaughlin, chair of the Gangnam-gu Sister Cities Committee; Sungjin Yoo, member of the Gangnam-gu Sister Cities Committee; Mayor Rosalynn Bliss, Commissioner Senita Lenear; Commissioner Milinda Ysasi; Rick Truer, Gangnam-gu Sister Cities Committee member; Megan Rydecki, Gangnam-gu Sister Cities Committee member; Commissioner Joe Jones; Laura Olson; Lou Canfield; City Manager Mark Washington. (Courtesy of Grand Rapids)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Rapids is getting a new sister city: Gangnam District in South Korea.

The city commission approved a sister city agreement with Gangnam District on Tuesday, Grand Rapids said in a Wednesday release.

Gangnam, one of 25 autonomous districts of Seoul, has many similarities to Grand Rapids, the city said. Both cities’ names reference a river. Both have seen a lot of growth and development through the furniture industry, and both have had recent growth in the health care industry as well as the brewing and distilling industries.

Gangnam also has its own ArtPrize, inspired by Grand Rapids’ ArtPrize.

The new sister city is 6,500 miles away from Grand Rapids, with a 13-hour time difference.

Mayor Rosalynn Bliss said in the release conversations between officials of the two cities revealed “complementary communities with similar strengths and opportunities to build and grow cultural, commercial, and artistic ties.”

Grand Rapids has five other sister cities: Omihachiman in Japan, Bielsko-Biala in Poland, Ga District in Ghana, Perugia in Italy and Zapopan in Mexico.

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