Urban Designer

Position Type: Full-Time

Location: Charleston Civic Design Center

Pay: $40,452 / Year

Apply Online: http://www.charleston-sc.gov/jobs.aspx

The Position

The Urban Designer develops innovative urban design products and strategies using a collaborative process in a studio setting. This involves creating a wide variety of graphic products for urban design, including: concept sketches, plans, sections, digital models, maps, diagrams, infographics, Photoshop composites, and other renderings. The Urban Designer participates in all phases of the design process, from analysis to design development to implementation.

In terms of public engagement, the Urban Designer assists in the planning, advertising, coordination, conducting and reporting back on various types of public meetings with community groups, design professionals and other stakeholders to address questions of design and urbanism. Meetings may include stakeholder interviews, an on-site information booth, design workshops, gallery events, and multi-day urban design charrettes. The position is also responsible for answering public inquiries and communicating with the public in general. The Urban Designer also provides administrative assistance in the daily operations of the Charleston Civic Design Center, sometimes including: opening and closing the studio, maintaining the website, and posting on social media.


The ideal candidate will have a working knowledge of NACTO design guidance, the principles of New Urbanism, and contemporary urban design practices in American cities. The ideal candidate should also have strong interest in neighborhood, downtown or district-scale planning. Strong communication, graphic, design and writing skills are essential. The successful candidate must have proficiency in key software programs including Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Suite/Cloud, and Sketchup. AutoCAD, GIS and V-Ray for Sketchup are a plus, but not required. Hand drawing, marker and color pencil rendering, sketching, and diagramming are also strongly encouraged.

Minimal Requirements: Bachelor’s degree (BA/BS) or equivalent. One year of related experience and/or training is preferred or equivalent combination and experience. Valid state issued driver’s license.

Working Here

The Design Division is an entity of the City of Charleston’s planning department. We operate in an open format, highly collaborative studio environment housed in the Charleston Civic Design Center, a stand-alone 2-story historic building. We have large work tables, pinup walls and lots of natural light. The work environment is highly conducive to creativity and production. The team is small, consisting of this position, the Director and 2-3 interns at any given time. We are a municipal operation, serving the public interest while behaving like an independent design firm.

Our project types range in scope and scale, from a site fit study for small affordable housing to master plans for entire districts. We are finishing an urban bikeways plan for the peninsula that will be followed by numerous conceptual streetscape plans for such infrastructure. We are rethinking our public housing stock, setting new design standards, challenging automobile-dominated streetscape plans, master planning around future BRT stops, and engaging in tactical urbanism. Our work can be directed by the Mayor’s office, requested by other departments and agencies, responsive to an unsatisfactory emerging condition, or be initiated by our team.

Apply Online

Apply through the City of Charleston's online job portal, located here. Please provide a PDF portfolio and please be sure to indicate which work is yours if using a group project.