Senior Urban Design Planner

Updated: about 1 month ago
Location: Cambridge, MASSACHUSETTS


University Administration


Position Description


Harvard University Planning and Design (HUPAD) is responsible for the stewardship of one of the world’s most iconic campus settings and advances Harvard’s mission of teaching and research by enhancing, sustaining, and optimizing the physical campus to achieve planning and design excellence. While remaining centered in its historical Cambridge location, the University today includes diverse campus locations throughout the United States and the world. To achieve a vision for a cohesive “One Harvard,” HUPAD partners with Schools and Units to advance a transparent and collaborative University-wide planning framework that ensures every corner of campus – Cambridge, Allston, the Longwood Medical Area (LMA), and the regional areas like the Arnold Arboretum – are situated within a thoughtful planning strategy. HUPAD also works with partners, neighborhoods, and cities to address wider planning, design, and sustainability objectives.

The Campus Planning team:

  • Leads inclusive, collaborative, and transparent planning processes to develop short and long-term, flexible campus land-use strategies and an overall planning framework for the University.
  • Promotes stewardship of facilities, land, capital financial resources, and physical plant information, in collaboration with the Schools and Units as well as the broader community.
  • Collaborates across the University result in visionary physical plans and capital projects that embody design excellence, campus connectivity, sustainability, and stewardship.

Duties and Responsibilities:

The Senior Urban Design Planner will be part of a team of planners who are guiding the physical development of Harvard.  The Senior Urban Design Planner provides leadership in the development of campus planning and design projects.  This role will be responsible for:

  • Fostering excellence in campus design, by clearly articulating design goals & objectives for the University.
  • Increasing awareness of good design and advocating for quality campus design in collaboration with Harvard faculties.
  • Performing research, analysis, and the preparation of reports and presentations in support of campus design at Harvard.
  • Developing urban design policies and implementation strategies. Overseeing the development of design guidelines for the campus.
  • Monitoring best practices in urban design and disseminating information concerning contemporary issues in architecture, campus planning & landscape design.
  • Coordinating architect selection processes and project design review processes.
  • Participating in physical planning, regulatory planning and review, and other planning responsibilities.
  • Providing project management of projects including the management of consultants.
  • Building partnerships with stakeholders to identify opportunities for coordination and more effective service delivery.

Basic Qualifications

Candidates MUST meet the following basic qualifications in order to be considered for this role:

  • Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, urban planning or related field required.
  • Minimum of seven years experience in urban design, campus planning or architecture.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • Graduate degree in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design/planning or related field preferred. Registration as a design professional preferred. 
  • Ability to grasp and communicate complex ideas clearly and think creatively. 
  • Expertise in physical design, space planning and landscape design.  Understanding of current trends in the design field. 
  • Experience in the development of planning-related communication materials, including written reports, visual media and verbal presentations. 
  • Strong writing skills. 
  • Experience conducting public presentations and facilitating involvement in the design process.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, the ability to work effectively at all levels of an organization, ability to work well in teams, and also independently.  
  • Ability to take initiative and provide leadership.  Excellent organizational skills and the ability to meet deadlines while working on multiple projects.  
  • Ability to manage multi-disciplinary projects & facilitate design solutions.  
  • Excellent MS Office, Adobe Suite, and graphics skills.  
  • Knowledge of Harvard is a plus.

Additional Information

PLEASE NOTE: This position may start hybrid (some on-campus/some remote work), with the transition to full-on campus in Cambridge if required by the department.  Work options for this role will be discussed during the interview process.

The University requires all Harvard community members to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and remain up to date with COVID-19 vaccine boosters, as detailed in Harvard’s Vaccine & Booster Requirements . Individuals may claim exemption from the vaccine requirement for medical or religious reasons. More information regarding the University’s COVID vaccination requirement, exemptions, and verification of vaccination status may be found on the University’s “COVID-19 Vaccine Information” webpage: .   

Total Rewards:
Harvard’s Total Rewards Program is designed to attract, retain, and reward the performance of talented employees. As a Harvard staff member, you enjoy many perks that come with working for one of the top employers in Massachusetts, including:
Paid Time Off: 3 - 4 weeks accrued vacation days, 12 accrued sick days, 12.5 paid holidays plus winter recess, and 3 personal days awarded each calendar year.
Medical/Dental/Vision: We offer a variety of excellent medical plans, dental & vision plans.
Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with full vesting after 3 years of service.
Tuition Assistance Program (TAP): $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and discounted options through participating Harvard grad schools.
Harvard University Employees Credit Union: Our employee credit union provides a complete line of services for all your financial needs.
Transportation: 50% discounted MBTA pass as well as additional options to assist employees in their daily commute.
Wellness options: A variety of programs and classes at little or no cost, including stress management, massages, nutrition, meditation, and complimentary health services.
Access to athletic facilities, libraries, campus events, and many discounts throughout metro Boston.

Learn more:


USA - MA - Cambridge

Job Code

330058 Facilities & Oper SrSpecialist


HU Planning and Design


00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Pre-Employment Screening

Education, Identity


Full time. Monday through Friday. 35 hours per week.

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.

EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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