OSPCD - Public Space and Urban Forestry

Somerville is a city that upholds progressive principles for both employees and residents. The City of Somerville embraces and encourages an innovative, empowering, and collaborative workplace culture in a fast-paced, challenging environment. The City also offers a generous benefits package that embodies a strong work-life balance. Not only is Somerville a “Model City,” as termed by The Boston Globe, but it is also a model employer.

Statement of Duties

The Public Space Planner is responsible for the design and construction of public spaces and related projects within the city.


Essential Functions:

  • Manages multiple public space projects simultaneously.
  • Coordinates grants, which include grant writing and reporting; budget estimating; management and maintenance of project finances; developing scope of services and evaluation criteria for Request for Proposal (RFP), Request for Quotation (RFQ) and Invitation for Bid (IFB) processes.
  • Writes and maintains multiple contracts with design firms, contractors, consultants and vendors associated with projects and the oversight and coordination of project related community outreach efforts.
  • Provides design oversight for all projects and works with OSPCD staff to coordinate and schedule all projects to insure they properly represent City policy.
  • Schedules, manages and coordinates the work of contractors, consultants, and DPW employees associated with public space projects.
  • Serves as the department’s community liaison; organizes neighborhood meetings to facilitate community participation in public space planning and design process.
  • Manages all aspects of public space design and construction: funding, environmental testing, procurement, community input, landscape and urban design, specifications and bid documents and construction administration
  • Manages large and detailed budgets.
  • Works on the research and development of City ordinances and policies and collaborates on urban forestry planning.
  • Reviews landscape plans for private and public projects in collaboration with other City departments.
  • Works on interdisciplinary projects as the Public Space & Urban Forestry (PSUF) representative.
  • Produce design concepts for planting schemes and public spaces.
  • Mentors interns.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Recommended Minimum Qualifications                                                                 


Education and Experience: Bachelor’s Degree in Landscape Architecture or related field, and three to five (3-5) years’ experience; or any equivalent combination of education, training and experience which provides the required knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the essential functions of the job. Master in Landscape Architecture (MLA) preferred.


Knowledge, Abilities and Skill

Knowledge:  Knowledge of project management and landscape architecture; knowledge of the principles and practices of management and organization, fiscal management and budget administration; program development and coordination; team building techniques.

Abilities: Ability to problem solve and work with others is critical to success. Ability to analyze and resolve park and open space design issues.

Skill: Good computer skills, including AutoCAD and other design software; excellent oral and written communication skills.


Work Environment

The work environment involves everyday discomforts typical of offices, with occasional exposure to outside elements.  Noise or physical surroundings may be distracting, but conditions are generally not unpleasant.  Employee may be required to work beyond normal business hours in response to attend evening meetings or complete work assignments. When working on projects, may experience exposure to conditions typically found at work sites or out of doors locations.


Physical and Mental Requirements

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the position’s essential functions.


Physical Skills

Few physical demands are required to perform the work. Work effort principally involves sitting to perform work tasks, with intermittent periods of stooping, walking, and standing.  May also be some occasional lifting of objects such as office equipment and computer paper (up to 30 lbs.). If at a work site, may be required to exert more physical effort than typically required in the office setting.


Motor Skills

Duties are largely mental rather than physical, but the job may occasionally require minimal motor skills for activities such as moving objects, operating a telephone, personal computer and/or most other office equipment including word processing, filing and sorting of papers.


Visual Skills

Visual demands require constantly reading documents for general understanding and analytical purposes.



Application Procedure: 

Send your resume and cover letter by 1/3/2020 to:

City Hall Personnel Office
93 Highland Avenue
Somerville MA 02143
Fax: 617-666-4426
TTY: 1-866-808-4851
Email: [email protected]

City of Somerville residents are especially encouraged to apply.

The City of Somerville is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, age, national origin, disability or any other protected category. Women, minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Auxiliary aids and services, written materials in alternative formats, and reasonable modifications in policies and procedures will be provided to qualified individuals with disabilities free of charge, upon request.

Individuals with disabilities who need auxiliary aids and services for effective communication, written materials in alternative formats, or reasonable modifications in policies and procedures, in order to access the programs and activities of the City of Somerville or to attend meetings, should contact the City’s ADA Coordinator, Nency Salamoun, at 617-625-6600 x2323 or [email protected].

Full Time
$76,500 annual plus benefits
Application Start Date: 
Monday, December 2, 2019
Application End Date: 
Friday, January 3, 2020