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

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The New Urban Planning: Look Upward, not Outward

Super tall buildings like Gensler's Shanghai Tower, which is currently under construction, can help urban planners think in vertical terms instead of horizontal ones.

I like to think of myself as a nomadic architect. I've travelled around Asia for almost 30 years, doing work in many different countries and emerging markets, and learning more than I ever could have anticipated.

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A Spectacle on Our Streets

Olympic Regent Street in London. Photo courtesy of Flickr user Mabacam.

Here we are rapidly racing to the closing stages of the Olympics. It’s happening too fast with too much to absorb, but London continues to buzz with the excitement, drama and spectacle of the world’s greatest sporting festival. Already the pundits, skeptics and media are out speculating each other on what it all means. How do the Olympics change us? What is the overall meaning of the games? As summer finally arrives late for the party, the mind starts to wander and reflect on the hereafter. What happens to London after the closing ceremony, and what happens to the places and facilities so heroically created on time and on budget? Will there be an Olympic hangover? What does ‘LEGACY’ mean in the context of the games?

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An Olympic Legacy: The Courage of an Aspirational Vision

The 1948 Olympic Games helped inspire England to lift itself out of the ashes of World War II and start anew. Photo courtesy of Flickr user quiquemendizabal.

After the new World and Olympic Record’s are inked in the books (albeit digitally), the athletes, media and visitors depart, organizers and volunteers recover from the hang-over, and the traffic ebbs, only one question will remain: What will the legacy be to London?

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Hey…Leave my third place alone!

Many of our current workplaces are designed around connection, an important shift that unfolded over the past two decades. As leadership moved from command and control to a more collaborative model, our work became increasingly defined by team goals and projects. We needed that contact to make our work relevant and ensure our individual tasks remained on course with a larger purpose. But design for connection, aided by mobile technology, pushed a lot of the focus work out. It had to go somewhere, so it started invading our personal lives, our personal spaces and our cities.

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Contemporary Architecture at the University of Chicago

Steve Wiesenthal has overseen a slew of new building projects since taking over as the University of Chicago's associate vice president for facilities services and university architect.

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