Job Location: Sacramento, San Diego

Employer Website:

Job Description:


As an experienced urban designer, you have a passion for preparing a wide range of planning documents such as master plans, corridor plans, specific plans, and objective design standards, while engaging with the communities they affect, collaborating with the agencies that implement them, and managing an interdisciplinary team of experts. You enjoy engaging in design discourse to share ideas, critique design concepts by others, and provide alternative approaches. Quickly sketching out or demonstrating design ideas and concepts is second nature to you. You have a comprehensive understanding of the various systems that make a city or community thrive, have the ability to analyze and digest complex urban issues that span across multiple disciplines, and suggest clear and practical design approaches and solutions. You have expertise in updating zoning and development standards to facilitate mixed-use development and infill, and you know how to develop graphic and user-friendly documents. You have a strong interest in solving today’s housing and climate challenges. You have the knowledge and tools to deliver a successful work product and understand how to set up the project workflow, engage the client and stakeholders, and lead a team of experts in order to get there. Based on years of experience, you understand how to manage a team, and confidently participate in highly technical discussions regarding planning and urban design-related topics such as building and open space typologies, development densities and intensities, transit/mobility/transportation, utilities and infrastructure, development phasing, agency approval/permit processes, and environmental review processes. You are able to work independently on assignments and exercise judgment when needed, but are also known to be a team player and have strong visual, written, and verbal communication skills, and get things done.

We are seeking to fill this position in our San Diego or Sacramento office. In a typical week as an Ascent Senior Urban Designer/Senior Project Manager (Senior Urban Designer I), you might:
 Work on or lead the preparation of a large-scale master plan, specific plan, zoning update, or objective design standards;
 Manage workload planning, project scope, schedule and budgets, and coordinate team deliverables;
 Develop an engagement strategy, and facilitate a community outreach meeting;
 Collaborate with other planners and design professionals on projects throughout the state;
 Attend a local conference and present a topic of interest;
 Work with environmental planners to define a design/policy solution to protect sensitive resources;
 Prepare a proposal, prepare a presentation, or attend an interview for a public agency on a planning-related project;
 Help mentor and delegate work to support staff;
 Receive general supervision and support from senior management;
 Under post COVID conditions, travel for project work and/or interoffice coordination; and
 Enjoy social and community service events, and the camaraderie of being an Ascentian.


We are seeking a candidate with 10 or more years of experience in the field of urban design. Professional qualifications must include:
• A degree in architecture, and an advanced degree in planning or urban design.
• Over 10 years of experience working on planning and urban design efforts, such as master plans, specific plans, corridor plans, objective design standards, and zoning, for architecture, planning, and/or urban design firm in California, with experience as a project lead and project manager.
• Knowledge of current planning and development law as practiced in the State of California. Knowledge of housing legislation and CEQA is a plus.
• Excellent presentation skills, strong verbal and written communication skills, as well as the ability to quickly generate drawings and sketches to convey design thinking and concepts.
• Strong document production and graphic design abilities. Advanced knowledge working with Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Microsoft PowerPoint. Working knowledge of GIS is desirable. Experience with ESRI City Engine or ArcGIS Urban and/or Urban Footprint is a plus.
• Advanced drawing and 3d modeling and rendering capabilities, with demonstrated experience in AutoCAD, SketchUp (or similar 3D modeling tool), is a must. The ability to communicate zoning and objective design standards using simple diagrams and 3d graphics, as well as develop visual sims is desired.
• Engaging interpersonal skills. The ability to work with others, motivate a team, develop creative solutions, and be collaborative as part of a fast-paced design studio is of high importance.
• AICP credential, as well as active membership in a professional organization, is preferred (APA, ASLA, AIA, ULI, etc.).
Ascent offers a supportive, fun, and intellectually challenging work environment with excellent benefits. We invest in our employees’ careers and welfare and strive to provide high-quality outcomes for our clients. We offer flexible hours, collegial teamwork, participation in important and challenging projects, opportunities to contribute to and join in-service events for our local communities, and regular performance recognition.
The ideal candidate will thrive in a collaborative environment, be focused on preparing quality work, and possess a strong ability to manage projects and support project pursuits and business development.

Please e-mail a letter of interest and your resume and a design portfolio to:
Ascent provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.

Link or email to apply:

Apply by date: 08/30/2021