The Inspiration Exchange is a C40 Reinventing Cities finalist for the Chicago Loop site

We are excited to share our team’s concept for the C40Cities Reinventing Cities Competition for the Chicago Loop site! The Inspiration Exchange is a dynamic community hub that overcomes social barriers, creates opportunity, and models climate justice to Chicago and the world.

The net-carbon zero, 12-story mixed-use building includes 81 studio apartments, with half of the units dedicated to permanent supportive housing for individuals experiencing homelessness and half to low-income singles or couples earning 30-60% AMI. The podium is home to a street-level coffee shop, gallery space, community meeting rooms, a five-day per week free community dining space and kitchen, a health clinic open to the public, restrooms and other hygiene facilities, and other social services. The project also includes an inclusive plan for Pritzker Park that emphasizes the Inspiration Exchange’s message that all are welcome here. The project serves the community as a gateway to volunteerism for 1,000 people per year and provides essential services to individuals experiencing homelessness in downtown Chicago. The Inspiration Exchange also serves as an emergency resilience hub for the downtown community that advances climate action through an innovative food waste and recovery network, net zero carbon construction, affordable and permanent supportive housing, counseling and health services, nutrition, urban agriculture, and job training.

A strategic coalition of service providers will gather in one space, inviting all Chicagoans to together take action to end poverty in the city. The proposed Inspiration Exchange building includes locally and internationally renowned organizations such as Food for Soul, founded by Chef and UNEP Goodwill Ambassador Massimo Bottura and his wife Lara Gilmore, Inspiration Corporation, founded in 1989 by former Chicago Police officer Lisa Nigro, Turnstone Development, Heartland Alliance Health, Brown Planet Productions, Back of the Yards Coffee, and others. These organizations and services are individually invaluable to their constituents and communities. Together in one place, this convergence will anchor an environmentally, economically, and socially just center of a Global City.

The development team also includes the Alvin H. Baum Family Fund, Lightengale Group, Mir Collective, dbHMS, Site Design Group, Brown Planet Productions, Thornton Tomasetti, TERRA Engineering, Pepper Construction and Brown & Momen, Inc., Urban Growers Collective, and Back of the Yards Coffee.

View The Inspiration Exchange’s proposal boards here. Read more about the C40 Reinventing Cities competition and all of the finalists’ submissions here.