Better Block Foundation is a nonprofit organization that empowers communities and their leaders to reshape their built environments to promote the growth of healthy and vibrant neighborhoods. The Urban Designer should understand and embrace this mission, and have a genuine passion for urban innovation and bettering cities.
Reporting to the Managing Director, the Urban Designer will have strategic and logistical control over his/her assigned Better Block projects and will work on the project process as a whole. Better Block is a growing nonprofit, so the position offers the person to have a great deal of influence on the growth of the organization. Projects take place in cities across the U.S., so the position includes frequent travel and work on nights and weekends during project implementation.
Better Block projects are temporary, block-level interventions that demonstrate a series of rapid prototypes. We work with the community, using their tools, knowledge, and resources, to revitalize neighborhoods. We often add bike lanes with temporary paint, use digital fabrication and manual processes to construct furniture from plywood and palettes, and activate the space by coordinating markets. Thus, the role is physically demanding, often requiring moving heavy objects and climbing ladders.
- Facilitate Better Block projects from start to finish, including:
- Overall project outline and timeline
- Material sourcing
- Ongoing communication with local team members via regularly scheduled meetings
- Managing and developing project scope and budget
- Tracking expenses, invoicing clients, and tracking time
- Space design and material gathering
- Onsite management of logistics and volunteer workshops during Better Block implementation weeks
- Help in the design, writing, and review of all project-related documents, social media, and reporting/blogging
- The Urban Designer should be passionate about new urbanism and willing to swing a hammer, get paint on his/her clothing, answer volunteers’ questions, etc. This position is very hands-on.
- College degree in urban planning, architecture, landscape architecture, design, or project management.
- Flexibility with work schedule and day-to-day tasks, as they may change as projects evolve.
- Ability to work independently without much direction, and to make decisions based on Better Block principles and project guidelines.
- Ability to work in a team, delegate tasks, and hold team members accountable for these tasks.
- Demonstrated ability to manage conflicts and resolve problems effectively.
- Demonstrated ability to secure projects, whether through connections, grants, or RFQs/RFPs.
- Excellent organizational skills.
- Fluent with Adobe, Sketch Up, GIS, AutoCAD, or similar programs.
- Ability and willingness to travel up to 25 percent.
- Strong marketing, public relations, and fundraising experience with the ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders and cultures.