Urban Design Planner
City of Montgomery, AL - Montgomery, AL

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The fundamental reason this classification exists is to conduct design analysis for urban development. The Urban Design Planner studies areas of the city identified for urban development, prepares conceptual urban designs, administers or oversees the implementation of urban design projects, interacts with internal and external stakeholders and the public, and performs a variety of related administrative duties. Assigned projects are performed according to professional standards as well as official policies, ordinances, regulations, and guidelines. The Urban Design Planner exercises judgment in interpreting and adapting professional standards as well as official policies, ordinances, regulations, and guidelines to urban design issues and problems. The Urban Design Planner will have access to confidential information regarding city projects and potential clients and client projects prior to official release to the media and the public. Personal contacts are made with department staff, other city departments, business persons, developers, citizens, and community groups to provide information to make recommendations on urban design issues. The Urban Design Planner differs from other planner jobs in the city in that the Urban Design Planner is required to prepare conceptual urban designs in regards to the physical appearance of properties using a variety of specialized software and knowledge of both planning and architectural concepts. The Urban Design Planner is supervised by the City Development Director.

Essential Functions

The following list was developed through a job analysis; however, it is not exhaustive and other duties may be required and assigned. A person with a disability which is covered by the ADA must be able to perform the essential functions of the job unaided or with the assistance of a reasonable accommodation. The list of essential functions is to be used as a starting point to determine essential functions for a specific position at a specific location at a specific time. The ADA was intended to be applied on a case-by-case basis with the understanding that one position may differ from another similar position. The performance of "non-essential functions" is not optional for employees not covered under the ADA.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTION: Studies areas of the city identified for urban development using the Internet and geographic database software following professional standards as well as official policies, ordinances, regulations, and guidelines in order to develop and implement urban design projects.

Collects data related to the environment, traffic conditions, economic conditions, social conditions, public services, and utilities and land use in order to evaluate current city conditions, as well as, to predict future conditions.
Visits project sites to ascertain the condition of the site, take measurements, make sketches, and determine what is needed to implement an idea at the site.
Researches issues, demographics, policies, and ideas with federal, state and local agencies, research groups, planning consultants, etc. using the telephone, resource materials, and/or the Internet in order to gather demographic information and other information needed to research planning issues and projects.
Organizes and implements processes for public review including workshops, task forces, field trips or site visits, hearings, and meetings.
Analyzes and studies the collected data using database and geographic information system software in order to identify and/or make projections, forecasts, and needs.
Draws conclusions from data and formulates ideas, concepts, etc. in order to make recommendations and/or to identify additional information that may be needed to more fully complete study.
Makes recommendations and proposals based on studies in support of development activities for urban design issues.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTION: Prepares conceptual urban designs and plans related to the physical appearance of properties/sites using computer software such as illustration and/or design software, geographic database software, and word processing software following professional standards as well as official policies, ordinances, regulations, and guidelines in order to describe and illustrate design aspects of studies and projects and to assist others in the development of support documentation and designs.

Uses illustration, design, and geographic database software to prepare maps, charts, models, sketches, renderings, illustrations, and other graphic presentations in order to articulate concepts and ideas through design.
Compiles and prepares written graphic analysis of urban design components.
Creates a formal, documented plan which identifies who does what, when, and how and which may include long-term strategic planning and short-term action plans.
Develops graphics, posters, maps, renderings, etc. for various city employees and departments.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTION: Administers or oversees the implementation of urban design projects following professional standards as well as official policies, ordinances, regulations, and guidelines in order to ensure that desired outcomes are achieved.

Evaluates various implementation strategies to include their cost and effectiveness, the potential positive and negative effects, and the possible impact on the community and the local government
Chooses a strategy that best meets the needs and desires of the community and community leaders for meeting the community goals.
Presents implementation plans at public hearings and to the Director, Mayor's Office, the City Council, etc. in order to gain support for the plan.
Works with developers, vendors, other City departments, etc. to determine the most effective means for implementing the strategy and to provide guidance and oversight for the project.
Ensures that implementation of the project meets budgetary standards and limitations.
Reviews building designs, site plans, streetscapes and landscapes for conformance with ordinances.
Reviews designs for public and private spaces including consideration of such factors as pedestrian usage, landscape standards, lighting, adjoining land uses, transportation linkages and access, signage, and public art.
Monitors the outcomes of the plan.
Proposes future changes if the results are not desired or as economic and social changes occur.
Interacts with internal and external stakeholders and the public in order to provide urban development design information and increase social awareness of urban development and design and city urban development projects.
Works with citizen committees on urban design project planning and project design issues.
Negotiates compromises in plan components when objectives are not agreed upon.
Develops and maintains relationships with developers, business organizations, and professional groups in order to communicate ordinances/policies and solicit public participation in design development.
Meets with community groups to determine their position or reaction to various proposals and to gather ideas for current and future developments.
Acts as intermediary between community groups and builder or architect to effect a compromise on proposed site development plan.
Makes speeches and presentations to various groups including hearing bodies, the City Council, Planning Commission, citizen committees, and other public and private forums.
Confers with and advises architects, builders, attorneys, contractors, engineers, and the public regarding development ordinances/policies, standards, investment options, etc.
Meets with potential clients interested in the development/purchase of city properties to develop a design vision of the property/site.
Provides guidance to clients through all phases of project development from conceptual design to completion.
Refers clients to resources that might be helpful to them in their planning/development projects.
Participates in interdepartmental committees coordinating various interrelated urban development projects.
Develops and maintains social networking such as Facebook and email lists in order to provide clients and interested parties with up-to-date planning and development information and events.
Performs related administrative duties in order to ensure that work is performed correctly and that work is documented.
Conducts small-scale urban design studies to assist in development of policy and to aid in analysis or larger urban design issues and studies.
Completes various forms such as invoices, environmental assessments, economic forecasts, and demographic profiles.
Prepares correspondence to gather and provide information.
Establishes and maintains appropriate files to document studies and research and maintain graphic visual aids.
Creates documents for RFPs (requests for proposal) in regards to development projects within the city.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Knowledge of New Urban and Smart Growth practices as applied to urban design and development as needed to develop and implement urban development projects.

Knowledge of City of Montgomery planning ordinances and state statutes to include the SmartCode as needed to evaluate and develop projects, programs, and development.

Knowledge of urban design, architecture, and planning theory as needed to perform a variety of routine and complex professional and technical planning/development work.

Knowledge of principles, practices, and procedures in contemporary urban planning and zoning including environmental analysis as needed to perform a variety of routine and complex professional and technical development work.

Knowledge of research and statistical methods and techniques as needed to conduct
development studies.

Knowledge of statistical analysis affecting polices and regulations as needed to compile information and data.

Knowledge of project management principles and techniques as needed to manage projects and meet deadlines.

Knowledge of Federal regulations and guidelines that are needed for the implementation of development as needed to ensure compliance with Federal requirements.

Knowledge of the workings of local boards and committees such as the Planning Commission and Board of Adjustment to include how they interconnect, the functions of the boards and committees, their objectives, their bylaws and the information they need to achieve those goals as needed to provide accurate information in a timely and efficient manner.

Knowledge of illustration and/or design software such as Adobe Creative Suite, Sketchup, and CAD as needed to develop conceptual images for projects.

Knowledge of geographic information system (GIS) as needed to compile information, copy data onto the mapping system and provide easy access to the information.

Knowledge of 3-D modeling programs as needed to build digital and/or physical models.

Knowledge of internet research techniques as needed to gather data for projects.

Knowledge of social networking resources as needed to provide up-to-date information regarding City planning/development projects and events.

Skill in the use of design, visualization and graphic software as needed to create conceptual urban designs.

Skill in the use of 3D modeling programs as needed to create conceptual urban designs.

Ability to freehand sketch including pencil, ink, color pencil, and markers as needed to sketch properties and sites during field visits and provide an accurate visual documentation of the site/property.

Ability to clearly describe planning concepts with words and images as needed to develop urban development plans and designs. Ability to formulate a number of ideas related to urban design as needed to develop strategies, anticipate community concerns and questions and develop urban designs.

Ability to formulate creative ways to solve urban design problem as needed to develop strategies, anticipate community concerns and questions, and develop urban designs.

Ability to utilize computer software generally used in an office environment such as word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software as needed to prepare correspondence, documentation, and presentations.

Ability to analyze complex problems and reach sound conclusions as needed to make urban design recommendations and assist developers, engineers, contractors, community groups, etc. with urban design questions and issues.

Ability to communicate thoughts and ideas in a logical, cohesive, and comprehensible manner as needed to form relevant questions and gather and provide necessary information.

Ability to communicate in a style and tone that are appropriate for the listener or audience as needed to communicate technical concepts and information in nontechnical/lay terms.

Ability to conduct research, create studies and formulate substantive recommendations for the urban development of the city as needed to further the orderly development of the city.

Ability to establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with individuals, whether members of the public, coworkers and citizen groups, from diverse groups and backgrounds and advocate for citizen involvement.

Ability to extract and summarize information from laws, ordinances, correspondence, etc. as needed to understand assignments and changes in policy, perform new procedures, apply information to work practices, and explain this information to clients.

Ability to include the proper amount of detail in documentation as needed to ensure that all necessary information is provided to reader.

Ability to manage time and resources to include setting priorities for daily work, maintaining a calendar, and projecting needed resources in order to ensure tasks are being performed as needed to meet critical deadlines and handle multiple tasks and jobs.

Ability to organize facts and present them in the most appropriate and logical order, consistent with the purpose of the written document.

Ability to organize written and verbal thoughts so that information flows logically and conveys the appropriate message.

Ability to perform basic mathematical computations and descriptive statistics as needed to compile the data from studies that is necessary to make recommendations regarding projects/programs.

Ability to read and interpret a variety of maps, site plans, architectural drawings, and specifications as needed to conduct studies and prepare plans and strategies.

Ability to verbally present information using appropriate tone, delivery style, volume, pace, and non-verbal gestures as needed to ensure the listener's attention and understanding.

Ability to perform difficult and complex urban design/development functions to include performing surveys, compiling statistical data and obtaining necessary information as needed to conduct projects and make recommendations.

Ability to organize large amounts of varied data to include surveys and applications as needed to research and retrieve specific information regarding socioeconomic data and road and traffic characteristics.

Minimum Qualifications

Bachelor's degree in urban design, architecture, landscape architecture, planning or a closely related field and two years professional experience in urban design including the creation and rendering of urban design plans and concepts; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Special Requirements

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