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Urban Planner 3


Listing Summary

Salary:  Commensurate with experience

As a senior level planner within the Planning Studio, the Urban Planner III must have a broad knowledge of urban planning and design concepts and understand the critical nexus between land use and infrastructure development.  The successful candidate must creatively center context sensitivity to understand and craft solutions for Atlanta’s rapidly growing and diversifying population. In addition, the Urban Planner III supports the Assistant Director with project management responsibilities and provides guidance to staff and consultant teams as needed. 

This work is done in close collaboration with the Office of Design’s other functional units – the Public Space Studio and the Historic Preservation Studio – as well as other offices of the Department of City Planning, other City agencies, community members, and private sector partners.

This would be accomplished with very general supervision from the Planning Studio Assistant Director. 

General Description & Classification Standards

The City of Atlanta Department of City Planning (DCP) is committed to implementing Atlanta City Design and transforming Atlanta into the best possible version of itself. Adopted into the city charter in December 2017, Atlanta City Design articulates an aspiration for the future city that Atlantans can fall in love with, knowing that if people love their city, they will make better decisions about it.

The Office of Design of the Department of City Planning provides leadership for the physical design of the city. It accomplishes this through the design of physical plans for the logical organization of our future city, creation of vibrant public spaces that cultivate public life, and architectural guidance, including preservation, of high-quality buildings that contribute to a cohesive public realm. This work is framed by Atlanta City Design and driven by the desire to design a city for everyone in the most inclusive way possible.

The Planning Studio of the Office of Design is responsible for leading the exceptional design of plans at all scales – from the entire city, to districts, neighborhoods, blocks, streets and buildings; these plans will ultimately inform better policies and practices to guide the physical and economic.

development of our rapidly growing city. These plans must thoughtfully and creatively consider how best to leverage infrastructure improvements to achieve desired patterns and densities of development, support new types and levels for diverse affordable housing options, and create opportunities for parks and other public spaces that reinforce the City’s physical identity while also addressing existing community needs.

This is an experienced, professional level capable of carrying out most assignments typical of the profession with limited guidance or review. This position may at times include supervising the work of less experienced designers and must be capable and willing to mentor in this capacity. This level would be considered a promotional level and attainable by any incumbents in a work group who demonstrate the necessary knowledge, ability, and performance.

Supervision Received

Direction received is very general, focuses on end results, and is typically collaborative in nature. Candidate should be extremely self-motivated and willing to take initiative.

 Essential Duties & Responsibilities                        

These are typical responsibilities for this position and should not be construed as exclusive or all inclusive. Other duties shall be performed as assigned.

  • Provide leadership in plan-making as a design process aimed at intentionally guiding the physical form of our city using Atlanta City Design as the concept for that design.
  • Work with a team of planners, designers, and other professionals to design the city’s plans, both in-house and with consultant teams
  • Assist in developing new processes and methodologies by which the City develops its plans and, translates these into policy, and rapidly implements recommendations.
  • Collaborate closely with team members in other offices of the Department of City Planning as well as other departments within the city to ensure the City’s values, priorities, and interested and represented and reconciled in the plans we create.
  • Engage communities and neighborhoods in the planning and design process in a meaningful way that productively informs design decisions including presentations, workshops, design charrettes, etc. 
  • Define, analyze, and illustrate project issues and opportunities.
  • Collect relevant data, research case studies, and survey best practices and organize this information in a clear, concise format.
  • Investigate, evaluate, and recommend innovative design and technical solutions that best meet project needs.
  • Develop planning and design concepts, technical solutions, graphics, and reports for projects including final project deliverables (reports, presentations, exhibits, etc.)
  • Collaborate with design team (and others from DCP) to develop and lead public programs and engagement activities hosted by the Office of Design
  • Promote the Office of Design and Atlanta City Studio space, team, and skillsets as a resource to other DCP offices and other City Departments

These are typical responsibilities for this position and should not be construed as exclusive or all inclusive.  May perform other duties as assigned. 

Decision Making

Selects from multiple procedures and methods to accomplish tasks. Understands resources available and uses resources wisely.

Leadership Provided

Provides guidance and training as required to less experienced designers, interns, temporary employees, etc.

Knowledge, Skills, And Abilities

This is a partial listing of necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform the job successfully. It is not an exhaustive list.

  • Knowledge of urban design and planning, design principles, and innovative design practices
  • Knowledge of application of zoning practices and related laws, regulations, and codes
  • Demonstrated creative ability, including urban, architectural, landscape architectural and/or graphic design.
  • Strong sense of graphic design in layout, color palette, organization, and communication of design ideas
  • Strong ability to communicate verbally, in writing, and through drawing.
  • Ability to work collaboratively to arrive at constructive solutions.
  • Community engagement capabilities
  • Proficient in the Adobe Suite, ESRI ArcGIS, AutoCAD, SketchUp, and Microsoft Office


Minimum Qualifications for Education & Experience

Bachelor’s degree in urban design, city and regional planning, architecture, landscape architecture, environmental design, or related field. Five (5) years of related experience is required.

Preferred Qualifications for Education & Experience

Master’s degree in urban design, city and regional planning, architecture, landscape architecture, environmental design, or related field and seven plus (7+) years of experience in private sector or municipal urban design preferred.

Equivalent professional experience may be considered for substitution for the required degree on an exception basis.

Licensures & Certifications

Position would be expected to hold, or currently in pursuit of, licensure or professional certifications appropriate to the position.

Required: Valid Georgia driver’s license

Preferred: American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), American Institute of Architects (AIA), American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP)


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