Job: Work for livable communities: Urban Planner at Futurewise

About Futurewise

Futurewise works throughout Washington State to create healthy livable communities, protect our working farmlands, forests, and waterways, and ensure a better quality of life for present and future generations. We work with communities to implement effective land use planning and policies that prevent waste and stop sprawl, provide efficient transportation choices, create affordable housing and strong local businesses, mitigate climate change, and ensure healthy natural systems. We are creating a better quality of life in Washington State together.

General Job Description

Urban Planner – GIS Specialist (temporary 3-month position, with possible extension or conversion to permanent position)

Futurewise seeks an urban planner with knowledge and experience in GIS data analysis and visualization to support an established community planning project that proactively critiques and shapes community development based on equitable and sustainable land use policies related to housing, transportation, and the natural environment.

To support Futurewise’s community planning work, the Urban Planner will use GIS data analysis and visualization to (1) produce an in-depth understanding of community conditions, (2) inform community engagement and visioning, (3) support innovative and effective planning policies and projects, and (4) implement plans through organization and advocacy. The Urban Planner will ensure that existing conditions, community visions, policies, and projects are understood and supported by a wide range of stakeholders through the development of maps, graphics and visual simulations using a suite of design and mapping software that includes GIS, Adobe (Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign), Google SketchUp, and other programs.

This is an opportunity to work in a dynamic, inter-disciplinary, and innovative environment to build a more sustainable and equitable future for communities in Washington State.


  • Data Gathering and Analysis

  • Gather data from existing secondary sources including US Census, local and state government or other agencies.

  • Gather primary data on existing conditions of the built and natural environments through field assessments.

  • Analyze data to communicate existing community conditions clearly and concisely.

  • Mapping and Visualization

  • Digitize and edit spatial data from a variety of sources.

  • Produce maps, models, graphics and other materials which communicate current community conditions clearly and concisely;

  • Use maps and graphics to increase stakeholder understanding of complex urban planning issues, including zoning, land use policy, urban design, place-making, housing transportation and green infrastructure;

  • Organize, and create standards for, geodatabases and file management systems.

Desired Skills and Qualifications

  • Current student or recent graduate of Urban Planning, Geography, Landscape Architecture, or related program at the Masters level.

  • Experience using graphic programs, such as GIS, Adobe Suite, Tableau, etc.

  • Experience using MS Office products including MS Word, MS Excel and MS Access.

  • Experience with creation and management of geodatabases.

  • Outstanding written and oral communication skills.

  • Demonstrated commitment to both social equity and environmental stewardship.

  • Motivated self-starter able to work independently.

  • Ability to work effectively in a team environment.

  • Flexibility and desire to work on varying planning projects as needed.

Salary & Benefits: $15/hour, 32-40 hours per week, including health benefits, paid ORCA card for regional transportation, paid holidays and sick leave. The position is not eligible for overtime.

Posting Expiration Date: Position is open until filled - first consideration will be given to applications received by November 16th, 2015.

Point of Contact: Amy Gore, Sustainable Communities Director

How to Apply: Position open immediately; for full consideration, please provide materials as soon as possible. Interested candidates should send a cover letter, resume, a design work sample, and at least three references in PDF format to Please place “Urban Planner – GIS Specialist” in the subject line of the email and address the cover letter to Amy Gore. Please label any submitted materials, including the cover letter, resume, work sample, and references with your last name. In the body of the email, please let us know how you found out about the position.

NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE. Due to the large number of applicants, only successful candidates will be contacted.

Futurewise is an Equal Opportunity Employer that values diversity in all areas of its operations. We are committed to equal opportunity in employment and promotion for all qualified persons without regard to race, color, age, religion, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, military or veteran status, the presence of any sensory, mental or physical disability, pregnancy and childbirth, family responsibilities, or any other basis protected by applicable laws, regulations, or guidelines relating to discrimination in employment. We believe that hard work, a focus on quality, and a passion for the economic, social and environmental health of communities are required to improve the well-being of individuals, families, and communities. Futurewise looks to all staff to contribute to the effective implementation of programmatic activities and the successful growth of the organization.


EarthShare Washington | 509 Olive Way, Suite 1234 | Seattle, WA 98101 | 1.206-622-9840