Walker Hall

Job Opening: Campus Planner and Urban Designer

Create a vision of an effective, enjoyable physical environment at UC Davis. Apply to be the Campus Planner and Urban Designer and guide the development of the campus to support the academic mission and enhance personal and environmental health. Interviews will begin the week of September 19.

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Full Position Description

Job Summary

Under the general supervision of the Director of Campus Planning, the Campus Planner and Urban Designer is primarily responsible for physical configuration of campus as a built environment and the stewardship of campus as a welcoming public space network that is navigable and legible to all those who visit. The position contributes as the primary author to the Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) and the Physical Design Framework (PhDF) and other planning efforts, and the integration of the urban design framework into project planning. Position intervenes across the entire university including UC Davis Health properties, operating between and across the scales of long-range planning and capital improvement projects striving towards the preservation, enhancement and further development of the campus.

The Campus Planner and Urban Designer plans for the longterm viability of campus as an interconnected public realm, imbued with a resilient living landscape and framed graciously by architecture. The Campus Planner and Urban Designer has responsibility for the creation and interpretation of the Physical Design Framework for both Davis and Sacramento campuses, which guide location, scale, and character of campus buildings, public space, and the transportation network. The position is also responsible for the development and interpretation of the Long Range Development Plan for each campus. The position requires coordination across multiple university departments and units, as well as external partners, providing high-level planning services to university-wide leadership and planning staff. The Campus Planner and Urban Designer advances the university’s specific plans for the Davis and Sacramento campuses as well as university-owned health assets throughout the region.

The position manages complex programs, including implementation of the partnerships and programs identified in the Living Landscape Adaptation Plan (LLAP) to co-create a more resilient campus landscape. The position works directly under the supervision of the Director of Campus Planning and works closely with the Campus Landscape Architect within the Office of Campus Planning. The Office of Campus Planning is part of a larger unit located within Campus Planning & Environmental Stewardship (CPES), a unit that also includes two other planning offices – the Office of Environmental Planning and Sustainability, as well as two operational units – Transportation Services and the Arboretum and Public Garden (Arboretum, Putah Creek Riparian Reserve, and Grounds and Landscape Services). The Urban Designer works closely with all CPES partners.

Within UC Davis Health, the Urban Designer works closely with partners at Facilities Planning and Development, which includes project implementation teams in Facilities Design and Construction, and project development, strategy, and capital and space planning teams in Facilities Design and Planning (FD&P). The position also collaborates with Parking and Transportation Services, the UC Davis Health Sustainability, infrastructure planners, and facility and grounds maintenance teams in Plant Operations and Maintenance for UC Davis Health.

Essential Responsibilities

  • 40% Campus Planning
    Responsible for campus planning functions, in particular site suitability analyses and the identification of appropriate project site(s) and updates to the LRDP; responsible for the development and communication of planning objectives and design guidelines that identify key spatial relationships and articulate public space in relation to the built form, the transportation network, and other key elements of the campus fabric; participates in project review including university-delivered, public-private partnerships, and other complex development and construction projects; works with CPES, Finance, Operations and Administration (FOA), and FD&P partners to coordinate University-wide physical programs, such as campus wayfinding, campus transportation systems, and climate-related environmental planning including the Forestry Management and Water Management Plans; engages in the development of key partnerships that benefit UC Davis and University goals related to campus planning.
  • 40% Urban Design
    Leads the Physical Design Framework; responsible for the development of urban design concepts that guide the physical articulation of campus as a built environment; develop district / neighborhood plans as well as design guidelines for individual projects; responsible for design direction of the built environment and the physical qualities of the built environment as articulated within all Project Planning Guides and a Detailed Project Programs; champions and synthesizes campus sustainability resiliency goals in project design solutions; develops and deploys collaborative planning efforts with the campus community to better inform long-range planning and design initiatives, foster a feeling of investment in outcomes, and build trust with a broad stakeholder group.
  • 20% Project Scoping & Coordination
    Coordinates with campus partners in scoping projects to ensure that all projects comply with and build upon the LRDP and PhDF and align with the CPES stewardship mission and University sustainability goals; engages closely with Design and Construction Management partners at each phase of the project to ensure individual projects are scoped as a stepping stone toward the larger long-term vision for campus; responsible for the integration of planning principles and objectives into all Project Briefs, Project Planning Guides and Detailed Project Programs; advocates on behalf of CPES operational units when coordinating projects and collaborating with colleagues

Required Experience and Skills

  • Bachelor’s degree in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, City Planning or other planning or environmental related field.
  • Highly experienced in urban design, landscape architecture or related fields, or an equivalent combination of education and experience in a higher education environment.
  • Experience preparing planning documents and design guidelines for a university, life/health science medical center or other type of large land owner.
  • Experience developing urban design concepts and translating design guidelines into real world, physical projects.
  • Experience planning and designing public space and creating more sustainable landscapes.
  • Experience with quantitative and qualitative analyses and the integration of geospatial analyses into the evaluation of planning scenarios.
  • Basic understanding of AutoCad, ESRI Arcview, Adobe Creative Suite and Sketchup.
  • Interpersonal, verbal, written and visual communication skills to clearly and effectively interact with a diverse group of individuals to secure and/or provide information to clarify situations, resolve problems, and present planning concepts.

Preferred Qualifications and Skills

  • Master’s degree in urban design, architecture, landscape architecture or related fields, or an equivalent combination of education and experience in a higher education environment.
  • Experience synthesizing divergent views into planning strategies that deliver on seemingly conflicting goals.
  • Experience planning and designing transportation infrastructure for bicyclists and pedestrians.
  • Experience preparing and/or responding to Request for Qualifications or Request for Qualifications Proposals.
  • Experience serving as a project manager for planning studies or capital improvement projects.
  • Skill to work with a high degree of autonomy and effectively partner with senior leadership.
  • Advanced knowledge of planning in a healthcare, research, and innovation setting.
    Advanced written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills, including advanced political acumen.
  • Proficiency with a Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint.
  • Proficiency with AutoCAD, ESRI Arcview, Adobe Creative Suite, Sketchup and Tableau.
  • Skill to perform visual, physical and experiential assessment of campus environment and the campus transportation network, including congested bicycle circles and pedestrian pathways.

Learn more and apply

Explore UC Davis' competitive health and retirement benefits