They say you can’t go home again. Well, that’s especially true if the home you once knew has seemingly been erased. Such is the case for many of those who grew up on Chicago’s South Side, who return to their neighborhoods only to find that they have all but vanished. All that remains is a series of vacant lots and condemned buildings. It seems like there’s no longer a neighborhood at all.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

That is the mindset of one of the South Side’s native sons, Emmanuel Pratt. Pratt was floored by the fact that his neighborhood—which admittedly faced challenges even back when he was a kid—seemed to completely dissolve over time due to a complete lack of prosperity. Families left, homes were abandoned, and whatever did remain was simply boarded up.

But Pratt isn’t one for hand wringing. He is a man of action. And rather than lament the loss of his neighborhood, he decided to do something better—try and rebuild it. For Pratt, who is the Executive Director of the non-profit Sweet Water Foundation, that process begins with addressing two things: food and water.

Sweet Water’s primary mission is to turn waste into community resources, with a fundamental focus on the transformative potential of urban agriculture. Pratt and his team are intent on creating a space that employs a self-sustaining agricultural system known as aquaponics, and doubles as a multi-functional learning environment for South Side students.

But to truly engage the community, Pratt knows this space must not only be functional, but aspirational. That’s is where another South Side native comes in: artist Max Sansing. Sansing grew up in the Avalon Park area, and went on to become both a successful artist and the founder of RK Design, a consulting company that specializes in mural and graphic design.

Using cutting edge technology, the plan is for Pratt and his team to develop and execute the interior of the learning space, while Sansing will create a visually stimulating exterior. However, the location that will house the space presents difficult challenges for both missions—mostly because it will be built using an empty shipping container. Yeah, Sweet Water really isn’t kidding about turning waste into resources. The question, in this case, is how will Pratt and Sansing do it?

For more, be sure to watch part one of a two-part series in the video above.