Rachel Dorothy Tanur Memorial Lecture: Emmanuel Pratt, “[Re]Constructing Real Estate: The Question of Value”

Aerial view of Chicago's South Side.

The GSD is pleased to present a series of talks and webinars broadcast to our audiences via Zoom.

*This lecture will be ONLINE ONLY. For security reasons, virtual attendees must register. Scroll down to find complete instructions for how to register.

Event Description

Sweet Water Foundation (SWF) is a community-rooted, nonprofit organization that practices Regenerative Neighborhood Development to create safe and inspiring spaces and curates healthy, intergenerational communities transforming the ecology of so-called ”blighted” neighborhoods. Utilizing a unique blend of urban design, urban agriculture, carpentry, art, and STE(A+)M focused education, the primary objective of SWF’s work is the continued healing of the neighborhood, its land and its people, and re-rooting of the community through a unique intersection across education, agriculture, arts, culture, and housing.

Since 2014, SWF has created a series of urban acupuncture inspired installations that actively re-story and re-construct a neighborhood located at the nexus of Englewood and Washington Park, two African American communities directly impacted by redlining and long standing histories of municipal disinvestment. SWF’s headquarters site has become a dynamic, living campus now known as “The Commonwealth.” The Commonwealth spans four contiguous city blocks and includes more than three acres of urban farmland, open community gardens, a carpentry workshop, two formerly foreclosed homes transformed into live-work-learn spaces, and a timber frame barn that serves as a pavilion for a wide variety of community gatherings for public programming.

For this event with the GSD, Emmanuel will contextualize the historical degeneration vs regeneration of The Commonwealth to present date, lead viewers on a virtual site visit, and share some upcoming developments emerging across a network of value-based partners.

Screenshot of Emmanuel Pratt giving a presentation on Zoom. Pratt is visible in a small window on the top right. The presentation shows a list of the values of his organization, Sweet Water Foundation.

Screenshot of Emmanuel Pratt giving a presentation on Zoom. Pratt is visible in a small window on the bottom left. The presentation shows a person wearing a hat and waving, and above them is the text "There GROWS the neighborhood."

Screenshot of Emmanuel Pratt giving a presentation on Zoom. Pratt is visible in a small window on the top right. The presentation shows a map of racial demographics in different areas in Chicago,


Headshot of Emmanuel Pratt, who wears a black jacket and black beanie.Emmanuel Pratt, LF ‘17, received a BArch (1999) from Cornell University and an MSAUD (Master of Science in Architecture and Urban Design, 2003) from Columbia University. From 2011 to 2019, Pratt served as the director of aquaponics at Chicago State University, and he was the Charles Moore Visiting Professor at the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan until 2019. In 2016, he was named a Loeb Fellow at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Currently, Pratt is co-founder and executive director of the Sweet Water Foundation in Chicago and visiting lecturer in the Environmental and Urban Studies Program at the University of Chicago.

Follow the Sweet Water Foundation on Twitter.

How to Join

Register to attend the lecture here. Once you have registered, you will be provided with a link to join the lecture via Zoom. This link will also be emailed to you.

The event will also be live streamed to the GSD’s YouTube page. Only viewers who are attending the lecture via Zoom will be able to submit questions for the Q+A. If you would like to submit questions for the speaker in advance of the event, please click here.

Live captioning will be provided during this event. After the event has ended, a transcript will be available upon request.

Anyone requiring accessibility accommodations should contact the Public Programs Office at (617) 496-2414 or [email protected].