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Building BoomTown: Ageless Communities That Are Inclusive and Purpose-Driven

Image © Gensler

The evidence is undeniable: the growing number of Americans 65 or older is propelling a dramatic reimagining of how and where we age. A recent report from the Massachusetts of Institute of Technology Center for Real Estate estimates that Americans who are 65 or older will total 83.7 million by 2050—a staggering uptick from the 34.9 million recorded by the 2010 census. This accelerated growth will require the planning and construction of many more age-friendly communities than currently exist—and represents a significant opportunity to reconsider the form of those communities as we build them.

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The Third Wave of Urban Waterfront Development

District Winery, one of DC’s latest waterfront amenities. Image © Prakash Patel

Not long ago, urban waterfronts were mostly populated with ships and cranes and metal containers that held troves of goods ranging from the everyday to the exotic. Ancillary industries were located nearby, in plain buildings that did not bear the obvious signifiers of design. And men labored in unglamorous but necessary work that allowed the mechanics of trade to operate smoothly. Waterfronts have long been central to the economies of many cities. Yet they were also tinged with danger: their porosity enabled people and goods perceived as threats to the established social order to enter the city. This tension between sanctioned and unsanctioned activities infused waterfronts with a sense of drama and illicit goings-on. The idea that such places could be cultural hotspots or focused on livability seemed far-fetched, to say the least.

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What Greenbuild 2017 Signals for the Future of the Green Building Movement 

Partners HealthCare's new LEED Gold campus. Image © Gensler

This post is part of a series in which we look at the critical role that the architecture and design play in global efforts to address climate change. For more on the research behind it, take a look at our Impact by Design report.

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Who’ll Stop the Rain: Urban Design with Nature

Marines patrol past flooded Houston home. Photo by Lance Cpl. Niles Lee.

“Long as I remember, the rain been comin' down.

Clouds of mystery pourin', confusion on the ground.

Good men through the ages, tryin' to find the sun.

And I wonder, still I wonder, who'll stop the rain?”

John Fogerty’s lyrics from 1970’s “Who’ll Stop the Rain” became a devastating reality in 2017 when catastrophic storms hit the Texas Gulf Coast, Florida, and Puerto Rico. Millions of people were impacted with record amounts of rainfall – in some cases, a year’s worth in a few days! Flooding is a necessary natural phenomenon for a healthy ecosystem, but too much and in the wrong place is a deadly combination. But just how much flooding are we talking about?

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How Businesses Can Compete on Experience, and Win on Design

Image courtesy of Getty Images.

Nearly 30 years ago, Terminal 5 at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) celebrated its grand opening. The terminal would become Delta’s West Coast flagship, and was heavily advertised as “the world’s most relaxing airport: an oasis where passengers can relax and ‘take five.’” Designing Terminal 5 for Delta was my first project when I joined Gensler in the 1980s. Its completion ushered in a new era of design at Gensler, one relentlessly focused on design that elevates the human experience. Looking back, I can see how this project laid the foundation for what has become the Gensler Experience Index, a first-of-its-kind mixed-methods research study focused on creating a holistic framework for understanding experience, and quantifying the impact of design on experience.

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