Urban Designer I: Public Art Specialist
City of Asheville, NC
Salary: $51,188.80 – $76,793.60
Closing Date: October 10, 2021
The City of Asheville is dedicated to providing quality service for the residents and visitors of our beautiful city, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina. Asheville, NC is a thriving mountain city that has a culture enriched in diversity.
The City of Asheville values and respects a diverse community, workforce and ideas, and is committed to promoting an equitable, fair, and just employment environment. Our organization seeks to create and provide access and opportunities to employees, residents
and visitors to fulfill their potential through inclusive engagement practices. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, genetic information
or veteran status.
About our opportunity:
The City of Asheville Planning and Urban Design Department is currently looking to fill an Urban Designer I position that will focus on coordinating community-led design projects and incorporating art and place-based interventions in public spaces. The Designer will
work directly with the community and across city departments to improve Asheville’s public realm. They will be a part of a team providing internal and external design assistance that better aligns the built environment with the community’s visions.
The ideal candidate will have an interdisciplinary background that includes experience or education in areas like public engagement, landscape architecture/architecture, planning, equity and inclusion, arts and culture, graphic arts, and/or placemaking.
The UD1 will work under the supervision of the Urban Design and Place Strategies Manager in the Planning and Urban Design Department, and in collaboration with a variety of staff across departments and partner organizations.
Essential Duties & Responsibilities
● Provides general customer service for the Urban Design and Place Strategies division.
● Provides specific information and acts as the point person for the general public with requests pertaining to public art, placemaking/keeping, cultural expression, tactical urbanism and urban design.
● Coordinate artist selection panels for public art opportunities and artist commissions.
● Assist the community and staff with the design of spaces for public artworks in the context of broader local histories and public space use/design needs
● Develop plans for public spaces that balance constraints and opportunities found in aesthetics, functionality, cultural expression, inclusivity and physical form.
● Prepares site layouts that demonstrate potential design alternatives for projects in public spaces.
● Support the development of revised standards to the City’s design guidelines for the riverfront and downtown districts..
● Support the development of new and revised design/construction details and standards.
● Generate miscellaneous graphics and maps to support the department, which may include: 3D models, photorealistic graphics, GIS maps, infographics, etc.
● Assists with city vendor payments, city procurement, and tracking expenses for Public Art Program.
● Supports the Public Art and Cultural Commission (PACC) by preparing meeting materials, presenting monthly program reports, updating PACC website and records.
● Coordinates regularly with the City’s Capital Projects, Transportation and Public Works Departments.
● Updates City website with general project and program information. Deletes old information and checks functionality weekly.
● Performs other administrative functions such as preparing staff reports, performing research and compiling data.
● Performs other similar duties as required, e.g. supports outreach and engagement in general planning efforts.
● Coordinates the design of promotional and information materials.
● Coordinates public events.
● Assists Design Review staff with Level I site plan review for compliance with UDO standards and other COA technical documents and adopted plans in regards to the public realm.
● Researches, identifies, and seeks new and alternative funding sources for arts, preservation, and conservation programs; assists with preparing grant applications or proposals; develops program concepts in adherence to fund source specifications.
Education & Experience:
An equivalent combination of education and experience sufficient to successfully perform the essential duties of the job, e.g. a Bachelor’s degree in Planning, Urban Design, Architecture, Public Art, Landscape Architecture or a related field, with one (1) to three (3) years of work experience pertinent to the job; must have a strong design background.
Licensing and Certifications:
This is an entry level Urban Designer position. AICP, AICP CUD, LEED, CNU-Accredited, AIA, PLA/RLA or similar are not required but desirable. Applicants with equivalent experience and/or education may be considered.
Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Working Conditions
● Working knowledge of mathematical calculations and modes of spatial analyses required to analyze and resolve complex design problems.
● Training or significant working experience in racial equity, and using a racial equity lens to analyze complex issues.
● Has an understanding of the history of architecture, art, and or urban design; and the practical applications and major issues involved in those fields.
● Has a firm understanding of community-based collaborative engagement and design processes.
● Ability to process and use complicated workplace data and graphics; summarize, compare and identify trends among detailed forms, tables, graphs, diagrams, maps, etc. Read and understand basic workplace data, such as simple forms, tables, graphs, schedules, etc.
● Proficiency in GIS and the ability to utilize and understand computer applications and techniques, as necessary, in the completion of daily assignments (e.g. Google Suite).
● Proficiency in Adobe Creative Suite, Sketch Up, CAD, Lumien, or other modeling or illustration software required.
● Experience working with diverse communities desired.
● Ability to compile data into a formal report or recommendation shared with others and often verbally presented.
● Ability to think creatively in all areas for the purpose of increasing efficiency and effectiveness.
● Ability to communicate effectively in spoken and written form.
● Ability to research program documents and narrative materials, and develop reports from information gathered.
● Ability to analyze situations to pinpoint problems and assist with solving problems or identifying sources of obstacles.
● Ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships as required by work assignments.
● Ability to work independently with limited supervision.
● Ability to multi-task and deliver results in a fast-paced changing environment
● Ability to analyze and interpret policy and procedural guidelines and to apply this understanding to tasks.
● Demonstrated knowledge of physical design planning practices including design communication and engagement, evaluation and analysis, planning at multiple scales, zoning and regulatory environments, and the use of technical design standards.
● Understanding of key topics in planning and urban design e.g. multimodal transportation, housing, equity and inclusion, stormwater, and community and economic development.
● Understanding of grading and topography issues