Cities & Urban Design

We believe that thoughtful design connects nature, technology, and people while planning for resilience in a changing world. The places we create are rooted in local culture and act as a catalyst for socially sustainable urban transformation.
The era of the generalist master planner is over. The challenges of the 21st Century city demand a new approach to urban planning and design that is flexible, adaptive, specialized, and focused on implementing real solutions.
—Andre Brumfield, Cities & Urban Design leader
Client Services
Our multidisciplinary team helps shape people-centered urban experiences and mobility solutions for clients across the public and private sectors.

Urban Design & Master Planning

From new cities to urban districts to individual blocks, we design places that connect people. Our urban design plans balance public realm, vertical development, and complex urban systems. We work with developers, public agencies, non-governmental organizations, and institutions at all stages, from vision plans and feasibility studies to entitlements and implementation.

Transit & Mobility Planning

Our clients include public transit agencies, developers, and public-private partnerships delivering major infrastructure projects and transit facilities. We bring deep expertise in transit-oriented and multimodal development and believe that new and alternative mobility strategies can influence how we plan for the next generation.

Special District & Campus Planning

We offer specialized expertise in projects involving sports, entertainment, retail, and educational facilities to anchor urban districts and catalyze development. We work with economic development agencies, professional sports teams, universities, and developers to create compelling and functional plans for transformational projects.

Long-Range & Strategic Planning

We assist municipalities and institutions in setting long-range visions and policies that guide development for the future of our cities. Our planners and strategists are experts in the public process, with experience in stakeholder engagement and facilitation.

Neighborhood Planning

We believe in equitable neighborhoods that provide access to opportunity and choice. With a sensitive approach towards the unique scale of neighborhoods, we plan thriving and cohesive places to live. We work directly with public agencies and community organizations to create unique stakeholder-driven plans that prioritize residents’ needs, honor the past, and look to the future.

Affordable Housing

We recognize that many of our global cities are facing a housing crisis and take an active role in ensuring housing for all. Our team offers experience planning and designing affordable urban housing solutions for all income levels.


General master planning is rapidly evolving toward specialized city design that can meet blended work-life demands.

Urban centers today require a unique and specialized approach to meet the demands of 21st Century living, marking the end of generalist master plans. Urban planners and designers should consider more mixed-use, flexible approaches that integrate living, working, and leisure into every district and development to cater to the varied needs of urban dwellers.


Demand for affordable housing will be met through strategic partnerships with non-profit developers.

To overcome the regulatory and economic barriers that often face affordable housing, urban designers can leverage partnerships with non-profit, mission-driven developers who can progress projects more quickly and at lower cost. As the focus turns to more social-based developments, harnessing the right partners including developers, housing authorities, and non-profits will be imperative.


Investment in adaptation strategies will continue to increase the profitability and desirability of urban real estate.

Adapting to the impacts of climate change through measures such as urban green cover, resilient public spaces, and equitable design can mitigate the impact of climate change in the built environment. Local governments and city planners have an opportunity to demonstrate the long-term return on investment and incentivize sustainable and resilient development through tax benefits.

A group of people standing in a room with a stage and lights.
Design Forecast 2024
Design Forecast identifies the trends and design strategies that are shaping the future of the human experience and the built environment. We provide strategic advice, research, and projects from all 33 of Gensler’s practices to help clients prepare for transformational times.