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

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High-Impact, Low-Cost Design at Vistamar School 

How can a school use space making to facilitate learning? By providing learning spaces that promote thoughtful interaction between students and teachers throughout the school day.

A Gensler design team pursued that strategy when they converted an empty warehouse on the campus of Vistamar School in El Segundo, Calif., into a vibrant new wing full of classrooms and collaborative learning spaces. In addition to refreshing the campus, the new wing will support increased enrollment in future years.

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Encouraging Open Space Development

There's no doubt that as cities grow, the need for access to relaxing open space also grows. Parks, river walks, and playing fields provide places where city dwellers can escape clustered streets and transit grids to catch a breath of fresh air. And research shows that but open spaces increase real estate value.

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Art + Design at the Airport

Gensler undertook the renovation of San Francisco International Airport Terminal 2 (SFO T2), the design team’s overriding vision was to create a terminal inspired by the Bay Area’s culture and aesthetic. We wanted to create micro-climates or neighborhoods within the terminal, and we knew that art could strengthen that idea.

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Who Will Champion Open Spaces?

Image above: a model of London at this year's MIPIM conference spurred conversation about how to find more opportunities to create open spaces in the city. One proposal is the London Riverwalk, seen on the river above.

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First Look: Houston Ballet Center for Dance

Opening April 9, 2011, Houston Ballet’s Center for Dance will create both a new gateway to downtown Houston and a visual reminder of the city’s commitment to the performing arts. Jim Furr, who hosted this weekend's Houston Ballet Annual Gala with his wife Jo, recently sat down with me to discuss Houston's vibrant arts scene and why ballet is so important in his hometown.

Why is Houston Ballet important to the city of Houston? What role do the arts play in the city’s culture?

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