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What makes cities tick? GenslerOnCities explores the planning, design, and the potential futures of urban landscapes.

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Thursday
Oct122017

Revitalizing Downtown San José: Design’s Evolution and Impact

Downtown San José’s thriving Farmer’s Market is just one example of the City’s increasing efforts to adapt existing public streets and spaces to create a more vibrant downtown. Image © Gensler.

Downtown San José is well positioned to become the next urban destination. An expanding job market, investment in public transit and more affordable real estate than other parts of the Bay Area are drawing in new tech companies and a younger demographic eager to live and work in a city they love. We talked to Kevin Schaeffer, principal and managing director of Gensler's San José office, located in the heart of Downtown, about the role design has played in the evolution of this city and Silicon Valley. Read below for his reflections on where design has been, where it is now and how it’s shaping the future of Downtown San José.

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Tuesday
Oct102017

Envisioning Boston’s Transit Future: It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s a …?

Image © Gensler

Let’s start with a riddle. What moves 3,600 people per hour, is completely silent, runs on renewable electricity, has a small infrastructure footprint, doesn’t clog streets and is just plain fun to ride? Not Uber, not a ferry and not your Vespa. Not a subway, bus rapid transit or hydrofoil either.

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Friday
Oct062017

Factors Fueling a New Era for Campus Planning

Northwestern's new San Francisco satellite space is one example of how the institution is integrating its global brand into campus spaces. Image © Gensler.

Earlier this year, The Atlantic published a story depicting a new normal for higher education—one fraught with a dwindling pipeline of enrollees, rising tuition costs and an increase in school closings. It posits that the increased savvy of the higher-ed shopper, coupled with years of criticism around rising tuition costs and student debt, have driven universities to a tightened economic reality. In a climate where every dollar counts, universities are getting smarter about capital improvements to the campus and approaching decision-making more like today’s developer: What is the highest and best use of space on campus today? How can we ensure that the improvements we make appeal to our ‘customers’—students, faculty and staff—and keep them coming back for more? How does our brand go beyond school colors and evoke the true experience of our institution?

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Wednesday
Oct042017

VIDEO: Gensler's Grassroots Movement to Transform Communities

Image © Gensler

Out of a passion to call the design shots and a desire to make the built world a better place, the Gensler young professional group, ByDesign, was born.

The Houston-based group, which consists of 10-15 members and is now in its third year, seeks to foster conversation about the built environment at home and abroad. Their ideas range from bold city redevelopments to transformations of underutilized, highly visible areas. The site selections and design solutions are a direct reflection of the personality and passion of each team member.

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Wednesday
Sep202017

The Solutions to Climate Change Are Already at Our Fingertips

University of Kansas Capitol Federal Hall. Photo: Garrett Rowland.

Climate change is the environmental challenge of our time, and one of the most pressing issues facing our cities and communities today. Because every project we work on is either part of the problem or part of the solution, we have made a commitment to measure the environmental impact of our work, and publish the results annually to drive discussions with peers and partners, clients, and communities about the best ways to make progress in the future. This is the focus of our Impact by Design 2017 report, published earlier this week.

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