Today’s Solutions: February 06, 2023

With city populations expected to increase dramatically in the coming decades, it is essential that we take up a model for low-carbon development that promotes a thriving and sustainable future for urban communities. A recent development proposal in downtown Chicago is the embodiment of such a model, with a net-zero, affordable high-rise building that will radically transform an underutilized city-owned site.

The Assemble Chicago project, designed by Studio Gang, is the winning proposal of Chicago’s C40 Reinventing Cities Competition — an unprecedented global competition seeking to drive exemplary carbon neutral and resilient urban redevelopment efforts.

Located right in the heart of downtown Chicago, the 20-story carbon-neutral, mixed-use development will provide over 200 apartments for the area’s moderate and lower-income workforce. The building’s first two levels, known as the ‘Neighborhub,’ will provide event and collaboration space for community-based nonprofits across the city, as well as a food hall showcasing small, minority-owned restaurants.

In addition to community building, the Studio Gang’s Assemble Chicago will reduce reliance on carbon and minimize waste. It will also promote urban gardening, biodiversity, and other sustainable practices across the city. As a new model for community development, the project is also targeting LEED platinum certification and zero-carbon designations.

“Evolving Chicago’s architectural traditions with 21st-century building technologies to address the urgent crises of housing inequality and climate change, our design establishes Studio Gang’s first fully affordable residential community within C40’s ambitious, carbon-neutral framework in the heart of downtown,” says Jeanne Gang, the architecture firm’s founding partner.

Image source: Studio Gang

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