Community Project Planner/Designer


Northville, MI
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McKenna’s team of talented planning, design, and building professionals help municipal leaders develop and maintain communities for real life. From street festivals, neighborhood parks, and storefronts, to parking spots, coffee shops, and farmers’ markets, we want your community to thrive. McKenna provides planning, zoning, building, landscape architecture, community and economic development, and urban design assistance to cities, villages, townships, counties, and regional agencies, as well as select private clients, based on skilled and effective public engagement.


McKenna’s Project Planners/Designers are passionate, talented, and creative professionals who want to make a difference and see their work efforts result in tangible, inspirational outcomes. Our work is purposeful and impacts people by influencing the state of the environment; ultimately, we take pride in helping to improve quality of life in our great Midwestern communities.  McKenna’s team members enjoy the benefits of our practice, from the diversity of projects in a diverse range of communities, to our fast-paced, creative, and collaborative team culture.


McKenna team-members inspire those around them by displaying their positive individual approaches to solving difficult problems.  Our Project Planners/ Designers assist Project Directors and Project Managers in producing creative work products of the highest technical and graphic excellence and are responsible for demonstrating continuous professional development.  McKenna Project Planners effectively communicate work progress to McKenna Project Directors and Project Managers, whom they also support preparing for and during public meetings.  McKenna Project Planners/Designers work in a hybrid schedule from our Northville, Grand Rapids, and/or Kalamazoo offices.  


The Project Planner/Designer is committed to assisting Project Directors and Project Managers in providing on-time, on-budget planning and design work that is of the highest technical and creative quality.  Specifically:

  1. Serve as assistant planner and/or designer on a multitude of projects, helping to deliver creative solutions to our clients throughout the Midwest, primarily local units of government.  Projects range from providing ongoing and continuing service in the areas of zoning, form-based coding, master planning, economic development, and placemaking, to special projects in planning, design, economic development, transportation, etc.
  2. Work on harmonious teams of other planners and designers, mapping specialists, graphic designers, and administrative staff.
  3. Assist Project Directors and Project Managers in preparing for and delivering public presentations and facilitating public meetings, including in front of municipal boards and commissions, concerned and engaged stakeholder groups, and professional peer organizations.  Most often, presentations are concerning the project(s) being managed by McKenna; other times, Project Planners/ Designers will assist by preparing support materials for presentations on topical and timely subjects for audiences throughout the Midwest.
  4. Deliver graphically rich work products, regardless of individual graphic skills (i.e. work with team).
  5. Begin building relationships with current and future McKenna clients to increase the notoriety of the Project Planner/Designer, McKenna, and our work products, as well as to begin generating sales leads.
  6. Support and attend night meetings as needed as it relates to planning, development, and zoning activities within client communities.
  7. Assist Project Directors and Project Managers in preparing creative, error-free, and competitive project proposals.
  8. Assist Project Directors and Project Managers in developing marketing content (white papers, social media content, eBulletins, blog posts, etc.) that establishes the Project Planner or Designer, and McKenna, as thought leaders in a diverse range of community planning and design topics.

Our Project Planners/ Designers excel at assisting on a broad range of planning and/or design projects while collaborating with diverse communities, writing and/or producing technically rich plans and/or designs, and beginning to develop meaningful relationships with local leaders. 


Successful Project Planners/Designers most often possess the following knowledge and skills:

  1. An undergraduate or graduate degree in Urban Planning, Urban Design, Architecture, landscape architecture, or related field.
  2. Two (2) to five (5) years of success in professional planning and/or design positions, whether municipal or private. 
  3. AICP certification by the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP and/or AICP-CUD), architect or landscape architect professional licensure, National Charrette Institute (NCI), etc.
  4. Ability to respectfully function as a productive and enthusiastic member of a team, under direction of McKenna’s Leadership Team, Project Directors, and Project Managers.

Posted January 23, 2023, 12:19 PM PST

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