Community Impact Puts People First
by Kathleen Carey
At Gensler, we put people first. Nowhere does that shine through stronger than in our strategic model for Community Impact.
Over the past year, our firm has focused efforts in our communities into four overarching themes: the Next Generation, Housing and Homelessness, Health and Wellness, and the Environment. Through the Gensler Model for Community Impact, our colleagues are empowered to align their professional skills with community-based initiatives, resulting in a far greater chance of having a tangible, positive impact in our communities.
How are we doing that? Many of our offices are engaged in supporting organizations that help kids and students – the Next Generation. For example, we’re designing inspiring learning environments for students with 826 National and City Year, and are working with many other organizations that support children in vulnerable situations.
We’re working on solving critical challenges related to Housing and Homelessness by designing scalable housing solutions that communities can deploy quickly, like El Puente in Los Angeles. Another example, El Bosque in Costa Rica, protects some of the most at-risk communities in our society – the destitute and elderly.
We’re using data to build healthy places that will improve the Health and Wellness of communities, like in New York’s Mt. Sinai Peak Health Clinic. This project studied not only when patients came to the clinic, but why they came, and how they interacted with their environment once there. We found that a warm and welcome design affected patient care and encouraged them to attend their appointments.
And finally, we’re making sure the cities we touch, Miami for example, are resilient and sustainable in an ever-changing Environment. Miami’s coastal resiliency work grew beyond South Florida and connected offices including London, Boston, Washington, DC and more. This month, we’ll be featuring a project in each of these themes in depth, and I hope you’ll follow along.
At Gensler, we believe design that puts the community – the people – first is the key to shaping the future of cities. Our Community Impact mission will evolve as the people, communities, and problems they face evolve as well. Through it all, we know we will be driving our firm’s commitment of creating a better world through the power of design.