Urban Designer

RIOS is looking for an Urban Designer with 5 plus years of relevant experience to shape a wide range of placemaking, framework planning, and urban design projects, as well as grow our cities practice nationally and internationally. We seek highly collaborative individuals who wish to co-create within multidisciplinary teams consisting of architects, landscape architects, experiential graphic designers, and other planners and urban designers.


The Urban Designer will create magnetic, equitable and resilient spaces through a variety of project types, including urban infill, campus and district master plans, streetscapes, tactical urbanism, regional plans, and resiliency strategies. You will preferably be based in the Los Angeles office, with the opportunity to work on a national, and potentially international, portfolio. The successful candidate will:

  • Lead contextual site research to understand the social, cultural, economic, environmental, land use/zoning, and political context of a project site, and lead the translation of this research into design goals.
  • Initiate urban design concepts on feasibility studies, strategic plans, master plans, streetscape and urban public realm design, programming and activation studies, and entitlement processes. 
  • Create 2D/3D analytical and conceptual drawings, graphics, presentation  materials, research, and digital models.
  • Use sketches and diagrams to quickly ideate and test concepts with the project team. 
  • Identify and understand relevant regulations, policies and guidelines that impact the project.
  • Craft urban design and planning project memos, reports, presentations and proposals. 
  • Present design ideas during internal team meetings and client meetings.
  • Lead the facilitation of project charrettes, client workshops and public engagement.
  • Promote a strong urban design and planning culture and community in the office at-large.
  • Mentor and guide design staff in the development of urban design concepts and graphics.
  • Manage staffing, workplans, schedules and budgets for projects. 
  • Support communications with collaborators, consultants, funders and public agencies. 
  • Work with leadership and marketing to identify and engage in new business development opportunities.

 Minimum Qualifications:    

  • Master’s degree in Urban Design, Planning, Architecture or Landscape Architecture preferred
  • A portfolio demonstrating design attunement, and the ability to communicate graphically and guide visual storytelling at multiple scales. 
  • 5+ years of professional experience working in urban design and planning.
  • Strong verbal and visual communication skills.
  • Curiosity and a passion for quantitative and qualitative analysis to support well-researched, data-driven design outcomes.
  • Technical knowledge and demonstrated understanding of urban design best practices and concepts, including but not limited to placemaking, streetscape design, block massing, site planning, and building typologies.
  • Familiarity with one or more of the following: mobility and complete streets planning, real estate development, campus planning, economic development strategies, resiliency, and climate-adaptation planning. 
  • Demonstrated success independently managing projects, and the ability to deliver high-quality work on time and on-budget
  • Familiarity with spatial analysis and mapping software (ArcGIS).
  • Experience with public engagement processes and public speaking.
  • Experience with 2D and 3D spatial design software (AutoCAD and Rhino).
  • Strong  Adobe Suite workflow skills (AI, PSD, INDD)
  • Ability to communicate in another language, preferably one used in frequent project locations (e.g. Spanish, Chinese)
  • Experience and interest in spatial justice, and the motivation to bring an equity lens to projects
Salary Description
$70,000- $85,000/ yr D.O.E.