About GenslerOnCities

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

Search GenslerOn

See what’s ahead for design in 2014 with the Gensler Design Forecast 2014 (PDF).

Connect with Us

Tracking Building Performance at Portland International Jetport

Portland International Jetport was the second commercial airport terminal in the United States to achieve LEED Gold certification. Image © Robert Benson

Numbers and data have historically been the currency of engineers. But designers are now being asked to quantify how their designs bring value to clients and communities. At Gensler, we need to get comfortable talking about our projects in increasingly quantitative terms. Are our designs better than our competitors? How do we know for sure?

Click to read more ...


Fighting Climate Change Through Tall Building Design

Well-designed supertall buildings like the Shanghai Tower, pictured on the right, can help reduce energy usage. Image © Gensler

Barack Obama’s current visit to China could coincide with a new era in environmentally conscious design.

Click to read more ...


Work in the City: Urbanization on the Edge 

The lines between traditionally segregated cities and suburbs are blurring as the breakdown between the spatial orders of work and lifestyle advances.

Conversations about urbanization tend to fixate on how the already large “mega” cities, like Lagos, Shanghai, and Mexico City, are swelling in response to global population growth and urban migration. The most urgent question then becomes: how do we prepare our cities for the momentous changes underway? But there is another detail to consider: According to the 2013 Census, many top-tier cities—New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and their European counterparts—are actually shrinking, while areas on the periphery, long considered second-tier cities, are experiencing significant growth. People are moving to these new urban clusters in search of a better and more affordable life. This migration of people from urban cores to edge cities, and the consequent densification of peripheral spaces, is part of what distinguishes the current centennial as the “Urban Century.”

Click to read more ...


Unexpectedly Expected

Rendering of rooftop park at JFK T5. Image © Gensler

As JetBlue Airlines celebrates the opening of their new international arrivals facility at John F. Kennedy International Airport Terminal 5 (JFK T5) in New York, it’s clear that they are an airline whose brand is rooted in pleasant surprises. Food delivery at your departure gate? Of course! A New York airport that travelers enjoy? What else!? Clearly, being unexpected is JetBlue’s expectation. Knowing that, the design challenge in extending T5 for international arrivals was clear: our team had to set the JetBlue international experience apart from that of any other airline. But how?

Click to read more ...


Thinking Outside the Box in London's Parks

Can blank white cubes such as this one inspire businesses and others to rethink the role of parks? Image courtesy of Groundwork

In 2011 Gensler research collaborated with the Urban Land Institute to identify the value of open spaces for both public and private sector activities. The resulting survey, Open Space: an Asset without a Champion?, revealed that private sector businesses would be willing to fund open space development if the right mechanism for investment was available and properly managed. The paper also identified the need for public and private sector entities to collaborate on creating, financing and maintaining open spaces. Open spaces are no longer the exclusive domain of governments and public funding. Private entities can benefit from the proliferation of open spaces and must therefore take an active role in advancing open space creation, management and development.

Click to read more ...