top of page

Urban Planner / Designer - Senior Associate, The Lakota Group

Our Team

The Lakota Group prides itself as a dynamic team of diverse individuals with a variety of creative backgrounds who seek innovative, meaningful, and realistically achievable solutions to support the communities we serve. We are an award-winning firm specializing in a broad spectrum of services interwoven in Urban Planning, Urban Design, Landscape Architecture, Historic Preservation, Arts and Culture, and Community Engagement. We are place-makers, focused on helping communities achieve active and meaningful spaces that enrich public life through careful dialogue and understanding of community values.

We are collaborators and find success throughout the country partnering with public, private and institutional clients on a broad array of community planning and design initiatives. This includes community comprehensive plans, downtown plans, strategic and master plans, corridor plans, site development plans, open space planning, public parks, plaza, streetscape design, and more.

Your Role

We are seeking the right individual who’s passionate about driving continuous improvement – within our company, their own career development, and the communities we serve. The ideal individual not only needs to have the requisite experience, but must bring a well-balanced blend of attributes, including a creative collaborative spirit, core skill competencies, drive, enthusiasm, and dedication to help further enhance our company brand. We seek your ideas and entrepreneurial spirit to help lead and manage a variety of challenging projects. As part of our talented individuals from various design disciplines, your role will require:

  • Project Planning and Leadership – Conceptualize, develop, and manage a diverse range of urban planning projects with a strong focus on policy development, research, and strategic planning, and design. You will lead projects from inception through to completion, ensuring that all work aligns with strategic objectives and community needs. Your expertise will guide the development of policies and research initiatives that promote sustainable, inclusive, and efficient urban environments. Effective communication, both internally and externally, is essential to articulate ideas, policies, and research findings to a variety of stakeholders.

  • Team Collaboration – We’re all in this together. You will work hand-in-hand with Lakota’s planning and design staff, and company leadership to craft a successful process, ensure on-time execution of deliverables and that each project reaches a seamless and successful conclusion. In this role, you will be supporting and mentoring your team associates and aligning their growth and learning objectives with project and firm goals.

  • Client and Budget Management – In this role, you’ll take the lead on managing client and consultant relationships, ensuring project expectations and deliverables align with our collective vision. You’re responsible for project financial management, including tracking budgets, developing cost estimates, and overseeing invoicing, with minimal oversight from senior leadership. Your independence in managing these areas is crucial, with leadership providing strategic guidance when necessary.

  • Quality Assurance – Lakota upholds the highest standard in the quality of our work and our deliverables. Your role will be to work in tandem with other team members to meet these standards through collaborative and meticulous reviews of plan and graphic production, report narrative content and financial/cost budgeting.

  • Team Spirit – We value diversity and are seeking someone who not only loves their work and profession but also brings new ideas to a fun and energetic group of individuals. Be a part of our team, contribute to our supportive company work environment and enjoy the rewards of being part of our thriving firm.

Your Skills

  • Planning Expertise and Design Experience – This position demands a strong background in urban planning and policy development, complemented by an ability to oversee and guide design processes within urban design and site planning projects. Your role centers on leveraging your planning expertise to inform project direction and outcomes, ensuring they align with policy objectives and community needs, including crafting visions, developing goals, and creating strategies. While direct design skills are beneficial, the emphasis is on your capability to manage design-related tasks, create effective and creative narratives, meet project deadlines, and maintain the overall project vision.

  • Project Management – Demonstrated skills and abilities in successful project and team management of planning projects of various scales, including comprehensive plans, strategic plans, and downtown plans from conceptualization and analysis through full implementation. This includes managing client expectations, as well as managing sub-consultants throughout the planning process.

  • Technical Proficiency – Demonstrated strong technical skills including proficiency in computer software programs such as, but not limited to ArcGIS, StoryMaps, and Adobe Creative Suite. The ability to craft technical and creative narratives is essential. Experience in AutoCAD and Sketchup is preferred but not required.

  • Communications and Organization – Our firm requires exceptional written, verbal, and organizational skills. While we understand that not everyone may possess perfect internal and external communication abilities from the start, we highly value this skill set. We are committed to working with our staff to develop and enhance these skills, ensuring each team member can achieve their best.

Education & Experience

  • We are seeking a candidate with a minimum of 5-7 years of progressive experience in urban planning and/or urban design.

  • A bachelor’s or master’s degree in urban planning and policy and/or urban design from an accredited university is a prerequisite for this position.

Join Our Team

At Lakota, we provide more than a job – it’s an opportunity to forge a career with a mission-driven team deeply passionate about shaping environments and enriching communities. We provide a beautiful and enjoyable work environment, coupled with a competitive compensation and benefits package, all reflecting our strong commitment to the well-being and growth of our team members.

Let’s chat! We would love to have you be part of our Lakota family.

How to Apply:

Please send your resume, pdf portfolio, and a cover letter expressing your interest in joining the Lakota Group to:

Recent Posts

See All

Planning and Zoning Intern, Village of Franklin Park, IL

The Village of Franklin Park, located immediately northwest of the City of Chicago, seeks a Planning & Zoning Intern to undertake planning, zoning, and development projects in the Village. This positi

Community Development Intern, Village of Lincolnwood, IL

Summary: The Village of Lincolnwood, Illinois (13,483 – 2020 census) is seeking a Community Development Intern to perform research involving a variety of public administration projects. Reporting to t


bottom of page