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Director, Office of Design Planning


Listing Summary

Director, Office of Design & Planning (Job Number: 220594)

Posting:  Open Until Filled

Salary:  Commensurate with experience

General Description and Classification Standards

The Atlanta Department of City Planning 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 & Planning shapes the future of Atlanta by championing exceptional design and inclusive growth to elevate and activate public spaces and neighborhood economies. The Office of Design & Planning translates planning policy into livable and memorable places, rooted in our collective history, with inspired, high-quality buildings, streetscapes, open spaces, and public art. The office also helps activate Atlanta’s public realm through economic development initiatives and special events such as Open Streets.

The Director leads efforts to develop an exceptional public realm in Atlanta.  This team is responsible for planning and design activities at all scales – from the whole city, to districts, neighborhoods, blocks, streets and buildings.  This work is done from the framework of Atlanta City Design. The team conducts design work for in-house projects, studies enabling communities in Atlanta to grow in harmony, and facilitates design processes involving private sector partners.

The Director leads the staff and activities of the Office of Design & Planning. The Director creates and administers policies and practices for guiding the physical design & economic development of the city to ensure a vibrant public realm. The Director leads the urban design studio, the historic preservation unit, the planning services unit and he or she will stand up the housing innovation lab which will work to increase housing affordability by testing innovative housing models and accelerating the pace of innovation in the housing sector. 

This is a fully seasoned managerial level charged with responsibility for significant specialized functions within a department.  Position manages a group of employees, typically with an intermediate supervisor, or a smaller group of specialized professional employees.  Areas of responsibility are typically unique within the department.  

Supervision Received

The direction received is general and focuses more on long-term and short-term operating objectives, managerial effectiveness, and operating results.  This level would be considered "middle" management.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities 

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

Serves on the leadership team of the Department of City Planning.  Contributes to the development and execution of department goals, budgets, and operations – providing urban design subject matter expertise.

Directs the Atlanta Design Studio. Provides a center for advancing a vision for urban design and creatively utilizing spaces/places within the City 

Leads the Historic Preservation unit. Promotes the identification evaluation, rehabilitation, adaptive use, and responsible restoration of the City’s historic resources.

Directs the Planning unit, providing guidance and leadership in support of integrating the Atlanta City Design in all the department’s planning initiatives.  

This involves creating a planning program using the design process as a model; with the Atlanta City Design representing the conceptual phase, a collection of 

planning and policy initiatives as design development and individual projects as design for construction

Directs units related to community development and public space activation including the Open Streets & Special Events unit, Digital & Social Marketing

Launches and directs the housing innovation lab which will work to increase housing affordability by testing innovative housing models and accelerating the pace of innovation in the housing sector.

Manages the budget preparation, submittal and administration.

Develops organizational structure and selects, develops and manages staff.

Manages purchasing, inventory, equipment maintenance and other asset-related functions and approves purchase/supply orders, expense accounts 

Decision Making

Analyzes complex design and other challenges and applies sound judgment. Selects from multiple procedures and methods to accomplish tasks.  May make purchasing or resource allocation decisions within organization guidelines.

Applies organizational policies.  May interpret organizational policies and recommend exceptions.

Leadership Provided

Has formal supervisory authority to include discipline, performance management, scheduling, training, etc.  The Office of Design & Planning includes a total of approximately --- employees.

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities 

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

• Knowledge of urban planning, historic preservation, design principles and innovative design practices

• Knowledge of architecture, landscape architecture, the design process and design review processes

• Knowledge of application of zoning practices and related laws, regulations and codes

• Ability to manage complex projects and lead a team to achieve results.

• Budget development and management. Knowledge relevant computer software. 

• Strong verbal, written and presentation skills. Ability to work collaboratively to arrive at constructive solutions.

Minimum Qualifications – Education and Experience

Bachelor’s degree in urban design, architecture, engineering, landscape architecture or related field (Equivalent professional experience may be considered for substitution for the required degree on an exception basis).

5-10 years of progressive urban planning and design experience. 3 years of experience with leading design functions.  5 years of management experience.

Preferred Education & Experience

Master’s degree in urban design, architecture, business management, engineering or landscape architecture or related field. Experience leading transformative design initiatives. 

A professionally registered architect, landscape architect or urban planner. 

Licensures and Certifications

A valid Georgia driver’s license is required.

Essential Capabilities and Work Environment

Required physical, lifting, and sensory capabilities are requirements to perform the job successfully. Typical environmental conditions associated with job.

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