Does this describe you?

Civic engagement energizes you. As an experienced urban planner, you have a passion for developing comprehensive plans, housing elements, specific plans, and zoning updates; engaging with the communities they affect; collaborating with the agencies that implement them; and managing large inter-disciplinary teams of experts. You thrive where the community interfaces with government in forums where passions flare, needs are realized, and policy solutions are conceived. Policy development is second nature to you, and you understand how a plan must be both effective and approachable both textually and visually (the best laid plans look the part). You wake up before your alarm clock having realized better phrasing for that policy text you’ve been working on and type it into your notes before you forget it. Based on years of experience leading complex planning projects, you understand how to manage a team, and confidently participate in highly technical discussions regarding planning-related topics, such as housing, transit/mobility/transportation, utilities and infrastructure, market studies and finance, agency approval/permit processes, and environmental review processes. You are not afraid to try bold new plan design and policy strategies. You are a veteran at the podium having presented numerous times before councils, boards, and commissions, possibly even as staff at a public agency. As a recognized leader in the planning field, your long list of clients/references will attest to the fact that you are the utmost professional—able to meet client expectations while also respecting the needs of the team that supports you.

Here's what you would do:

We are seeking to fill this position in our Sacramento and San Diego offices. In a typical week as an Ascent Senior Urban Planner/Senior Project Manager, you might:

  • Manage preparation of a major development plan, such as a community plan, area plan, or specific plan
  • Manage a general plan update, housing element update, or other element of a general plan
  • Consult with a local agency regarding housing requirements, a housing element update, or a zoning update
  • Manage workload planning and team deliverables
  • Facilitate a community outreach meeting
  • Collaborate with other planners and design professionals on projects throughout the state;
  • Attend a local conference and present a topic of interest
  • Work with environmental planners to define a design/policy solution to protect sensitive resources
  • Prepare a proposal, prepare a presentation, or attend an interview for a public agency on a planning-related project
  • Receive training and support to advance your urban planning career
  • Provide mentoring to an early-career planner
  • Enjoy social and community service events, and the camaraderie of being an Ascentian

If you're interested, here's a bit more:

We are seeking a candidate with 10 or more years of experience in the field of urban planning that has a degree in urban planning, possibly coupled with a degree in urban design or landscape architecture, and can demonstrate a work history that includes advanced planning knowledge as practiced in the State of California. Professional qualifications include the ability to communicate ideas simply, writing and analytical skills, document production software skills, ability to manage a team, and engaging interpersonal skills. Ability to pursue and win new work and build client relationships is essential.

Ascent offers a supportive, fun, and intellectually challenging workplace environment with excellent benefits. We invest in our employees’ careers and welfare and strive to provide high-quality outcomes for our clients. We offer flexible hours, collegial teamwork, participation on important and challenging projects, opportunities to contribute to and join in service events for our local communities, and regular performance recognition.

Still Interested?

Please e-mail a letter of interest and your resume to: 


Ascent provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.