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Planning/Urban Design Leader

HOK designs buildings and spaces that respond to the needs of people and the environment. Our designers are rooted in technical excellence, driven by imagination and focused on a solitary goal: to deliver solutions that inspire clients and communities.

Work with HOK Planning and Toronto studio leadership to lead and grow the planning/urban design practice in Toronto. Through leadership in design, business development, project delivery and other areas connected with the profitable operation of the practice, enhance the reputation of HOK Toronto and of the Planning Group through thought leadership and design excellence. Independently lead the design of projects for a wide variety of clients consistent with the goals of the Planning Group and the Toronto office. Help elevate the suite of services offered by HOK through integration of the Planning Group with the rest of the practice.

More specifically, we seek a leader who works seamlessly in HOK’s multi-disciplinary practice model, alongside licensed architectural, interior and landscape professionals to identify, pursue, oversee the design and execution of Urban Design opportunities – both stand alone and as part of a multi-disciplinary business strategy that leverages UD to seed deeper project involvement beyond the Planning stages.

Practice Leadership

  • Lead and direct project design efforts within a collaborative team structure, and contribute to the development of concepts for planning and urban design projects of all types and scales.
  • Oversee the design delivery process, including overseeing support & production staff.
  • Continue and enhance high standards of design and performance for the planning/urban design studio and demonstrate them through action.
  • Recruit, mentor and build a staff of accomplished planning and urban design professionals consistent with revenue growth.
  • Serve as the local thought leader for planning/urban design both externally and internally.

Project and Design Leadership

  • Provide conceptual direction for major engagements at the proposal stage, and continued design leadership throughout project development.
  • Develop strategies for implementing projects awarded to the planning/urban design group.
  • Organize the staff assigned to selected projects by providing direction, monitoring, and day-to day guidance.
  • Participate in project design development and provide guidance as needed to project teams.
  • Foster an environment of design exploration and innovation in order to achieve excellence in project work and as a group.
  • Leverage opportunities for follow-on services.
  • Ensure that every project contributes to the overall profitability of the firm.

Client Relations

  • Capitalize on opportunities to enhance clients’ experience beyond their expectations.
  • Perform as the key liaison between local clients and HOK’s planning/urban design leadership, as well as the leadership of the Toronto office.
  • Communicate design solutions to clients in a clear and compelling way.
  • Proactively seek information about client requirements and demonstrate how they are interpreted in design solutions.

Business Development

  • Continue to nurture existing client relationships and expand the practice through the acquisition of new clients including:
    • Identifying new client priorities and pursuing opportunities with them
    • Extending existing relationships
    • Making presentations
    • Working with office and planning leadership to establish strategy and respond to opportunities
    • Participating in proposal preparation
    • Participating in indirect marketing initiatives (e.g. workshops, roundtables, lectures, articles, panels, etc.) which enhance the group and the office as a whole
  • Work with architectural and interior design leaders to identify, nurture and pursue multi-disciplinary business opportunities, leveraging Urban Planning and Design to help capture additional architectural scope.


  • Travel may be required
  • Overtime may be required
  • The documents and requirements that this document describes may be altered or supplemented at any time at the sole discretion of HOK.

Required Skills

  • Proficiency in MS Office, including Word, Excel and Outlook.
  • Proficiency in Photoshop, Illustrator, Sketchup, GIS, Ecotect, and InDesign graphic software preferred.
  • Proficiency in AutoCAD preferred.
  • Proficiency in BIM, Revit preferred.
  • Ability to communicate both verbally and in writing.
  • Ability to work in team environment.
  • Ability to effectively meet deadlines.


  • Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in urban design, planning, landscape architecture or architecture plus 10-15 years’ experience; or equivalent in appropriate education and experience required.
  • LEED credential required within 12 months of employment, LEED ND preferred.
  • RPP and/or OALA member in good standing preferred.
  • Strong knowledge of regulatory agencies in the Toronto metropolitan area and experience working with municipalities and private developers.
  • A thorough knowledge of the theory and practice of urban design and planning.
  • Strong project design skills.
  • Excellent communication skills, including public speaking, graphic presentation and writing.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage complex projects teams and maintain client relationships.
  • Experience with large scale projects including higher education, institutional planning, mixed use, urban design and new community planning. (should we mention private sector – development community)
  • Experience and/or expertise in sustainable design practices; LEED certification preferred
  • Demonstrated experience attracting new planning clients and expanding relationships with existing clients.



Toronto, ON

Position Type


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