African-American Heritage Coordinator

City of Atlanta
Atlanta, Georgia

The City of Atlanta Department of City Planning is committed to implementing Atlanta City Design and transforming Atlanta into the best possible version of itself. Adopted into the city charter in December 2017, Atlanta City Design articulates an aspiration for the future city that Atlantans can fall in love with, knowing that if people love their city, they will make better decisions about it. The pursuit of this aspiration includes recognizing the foundational role of African-Americans in shaping our city and protecting and celebrating this important piece of Atlanta’s heritage as our city grows. The position of African-American Heritage Coordinator for DCP’s Office of Design OOD) has been created to be a leader in these efforts.

The African-American Heritage Coordinator is responsible for supporting the successful implementation of Atlanta City Design, the Future Places Project (the City of Atlanta’s comprehensive historic preservation strategy); the City of Atlanta’s historic preservation programs and policies; the responsibilities of the Atlanta Urban Design Commission (UDC); and other initiatives of the Office of Design, all with a focus on the City of Atlanta’s African-American cultural and physical heritage. Duties at this level include, but are not limited to: providing quality customer service to the diverse stakeholders of Atlanta; ensuring that project applications, grant requests, project analysis, new initiatives, research projects, and open record requests are processed efficiently and in a timely manner; developing new partnerships and strengthening existing partnerships in support of all of the City of Atlanta’s historic preservation programs and policies; elevating the City of Atlanta’s African-American cultural and physical heritage through existing and new programs; providing educational, technical, and informational support for outside groups seeking to elevate, promote, preserve, and revitalize the City of Atlanta’s African-American cultural and physical heritage; and performing administrative, analytical and technical functions in support of the implementation of the City of Atlanta’s historic preservation and urban design programs and policies.

This is a fully seasoned professional level capable of independently carrying out assignments typical of the profession. This level would be attainable by multiple incumbents in a workgroup (not necessarily by all) but would not be an “automatic” promotional level.


  • The African-American Heritage Coordinator reports to the Assistant Director for Historic Preservation within the Office of Design in the Department of City Planning. The direction received is very general, focuses on end results and is typically collaborative in nature.

Duties & Responsibilities
These are typical responsibilities for this position and should not be construed as exclusive or all inclusive. May perform other duties as assigned.

Advocacy & Empowerment

  • Advocate for the City of Atlanta’s African-American history and its associated historic places and spaces to: City of Atlanta staff and officials; regional and national government agencies; private advocacy and development groups; neighborhood and corridor leadership; and the general public. Leverage existing Department of City Planning’s programs and develop new programs to empower individuals and groups traditionally left out of planning and historic preservation discussions so as to understand, promote, and protect the City of Atlanta’s African-American cultural and physical heritage. Seek to expand the definitions of historic preservation, historic places and spaces, Atlanta history, and level of significance for City of Atlanta designation as they relate to the City of Atlanta’s African-American cultural and physical heritage. Actively find and promote historic events, themes, and individuals associated with the City of Atlanta’s African-American heritage that are not currently known to or understood by the City of Atlanta government. Promote the City of Atlanta’s African-American heritage to new audiences and through new outlets and venues so as to build and expand the range of advocates for historic preservation.

Designation, Preservation Planning & Technical Assistance

  • Lead the City of Atlanta designation of new Historic / Landmark districts and properties that are related to the City’s African-American history, including interaction with property owners, communities, and public officials. Seek out and successfully implement funding opportunities from both public and private sources. Provide strategic, educational, and technical assistance to the City’s historic and potentially historic neighborhoods and commercial areas, focusing on the City’s African-American history and historic places. Advise other City agencies and outside consultant teams on a full range of preservation issues that could affect the City of Atlanta’s African-American cultural and physical heritage. Contribute to the success of the City’s Atlanta City Design, Future Places Project, and Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP). Participate and represent the City of Atlanta’s Department of City Planning in regional historic preservation activities. Initiate and prepare National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) nominations that relate to the City of Atlanta’s African-American cultural and physical heritage and support outside efforts of the same. Present and advocate for the City’s historic preservation programs and initiatives to a wide variety of audiences, including the general public, elected officials, private advocacy groups, regional organizations and initiatives, and review boards.

General Office of Design / Planning Department Programs

  • Assist with the process of establishing new zoning regulations for the City so as to retain and protect the City of Atlanta’s African-American physical heritage. Participate in planning studies and reports in support of new and updated plans, programs and regulations. Act as liaison between community groups, government agencies, developers and elected officials related to the City’s planning, development review, and historic preservation functions. Conduct field evaluations and assessments. Maintain planning documents for research, documentation and public access. Use GIS to prepare maps, graphics, reports and related documents. Coordinate with the City Attorney, building officials, Zoning Review Board, Board of Zoning Adjustment and other public officials in matters relating to historic preservation, urban design, and development in the City of Atlanta.

Design Review Processes & Atlanta Urban Design Commission Activities

  • Using the City’s historic preservation regulations, support the assessment of design review applications for private sector residential, commercial, institutional, and mixed-use designs including neighborhood-focused single-family and commercial, as well as high-profile, multi-phase developments. Provide design and regulatory analysis to the Zoning Review Board, Board of Zoning Adjustment, and Special Administrative Permit (SAP) processes. Evaluate City public art installations and installation of public art on private property. Manage public engagement processes related to design review applications.

Federal Section 106 Regulations

  • Advise City agencies on compliance with housing and community development projects. Review a wide variety of project types / construction documents for National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) eligibility and compliance with Secretary of the Interior Standards for Rehabilitation. Implement programmatic/mitigation agreements on large scale individual projects and multi-year federal programs. Respond, as needed, to official information requests on behalf of the City of Atlanta.

Decision Making

  • Applies organizational policies. Establishes work methods, timetables, performance standards, etc. Selects from multiple procedures and methods to accomplish tasks.


  • Serves as a technical resource and mentor to other employees. May lead or instruct less experienced workers in high level or technical tasks.

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities
This is a partial listing of the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform the job successfully. It is not an exhaustive list.

  • Knowledge of: Nationally accepted historic preservation principles and concepts; historic preservation design guidelines and regulations; federal historic preservation law and review procedures; the National Register of Historic Places and its criteria; the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation; current/progressive concepts of historic preservation and urban design; local government design review, zoning, and planning procedures; GIS and how to prepare maps, graphics and reports; spreadsheets, databases and software to help visualize and present design projects; planning and zoning, economic development and related principles, methodologies, processes and practices; historic preservation and urban planning research methodology, including field inspections, computer and electronic searches, and archive and file searches; principles and practices of developmental design and engineering, including historic preservation, architecture, landscape architecture, site design and development, and land use compatibility; and public and private grant opportunities and programs.
  • Skills in: oral communication and interpersonal relationships to explain, deliver and improve programs for the public; creative problem-solving to gather relevant information to solve vaguely defined practical problems; and management of historic preservation grant, planning, educational, and technical assistance projects.
  • Ability to: read and interpret architectural and civil engineering plans, city regulations, procedures, master plans, regulatory codes, technical and operational documents, reports, research material and information, and maps; analyze applications and apply relevant regulatory ordinances and codes; operate and maintain a GIS computer system; prepare and present oral, written and graphic reports, documents, brochures and pamphlets, maps, and related historic preservation, general planning and development documentation; operate standard office equipment including a personal computer using program applications appropriate to assigned duties; communicate effectively; establish and maintain effective working relationships with the public, customers, citizen groups and other employees; successfully seek public and private funding / grant opportunities.

Job Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in urban planning, historic preservation, architectural history, history, urban design, architecture, public administration, or related field. 5 years of related experience is required.
  • Preferred: Master’s degree in urban planning, historic preservation, architectural history, history, urban design, architecture, public administration, or related field and 5-8 years of experience in municipal planning, program management, and project design review; (equivalent professional experience may be considered for substitution for the required degree on an exception basis); some supervisory experience desired.
  • Required: Valid Georgia driver’s license
  • Preferred: American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP); Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP); Section 106 certification

Required physical, lifting, and sensory capabilities are requirements to perform the job successfully. Typical environmental conditions associated with job.

Salary & Benefits
Commensurate with experience

How to Apply

Apply Online