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Entries in Oakland (3)


A Design Opportunity: Building #OurCityOakland

Image © Douglas Wittnebel

On Feb. 4-6, residents in Oakland, Calif. (from children to adults) will be able to build the future design of the city, literally. In an event that has taken place in cities across the United States, including Raleigh and San Francisco, the Our City festival is inviting Oaklanders to imagine, build, and celebrate the future of their community. To learn more about the Fair and how it can impact the future of planning and designing cities across the country, the GenslerOn editorial team interviewed Our City Co-Founders, Ray Boyle and Jake Levitas, and Gensler Oakland’s Design Director and Principal, Doug Wittnebel.

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Where the Streets Have No Name

Image © Jordan Berta.

I see a picture of a girl sitting near New York City’s Highline, gazing out on an empty street. It’s an evocative image, a little sad actually, and I can’t help but wonder, “Why is the street so empty?” I realize it was taken at an off-hour, but that’s the wonder of the photograph. I joke to myself that The Highline has so wildly succeeded at presenting an above grade urban experience that the experiences of the surrounding streets have been sapped of their energy and urgency. I pause briefly to visualize a Blade Runner city of hierarchical levels racing upwards to new heights. I see a place where blighted streets sit empty, collecting trash and debris and housing the less fortunate. But that kind of dystopian future only happens in bad ‘60s urbanism and science fiction, right?

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Gensler Models Oakland’s Explosive Growth

Gensler Oakland’s 3D model of Oakland.

It’s no longer breaking news that the Bay Area is one of the most expensive places to live and work in the U.S. There are a plethora of articles covering the surge of residents migrating to its neighboring city, Oakland. The San Francisco Business Times recently reported that 15 companies have decided to make the move from San Francisco to Oakland in 2015. Oakland is experiencing a major economic boom, which has piqued the interest of multiple parties including politicians, real estate developers, residents, small businesses, entrepreneurs, and more.

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