Cityworks Design
urban design - transit integration - community vision



Leadership and Collaboration

Cityworks Design's Core Team provides leadership customized to each client's objectives.  Lisa also creates specialized teams by engaging other Collaborators that she's worked closely with and who share a common work ethic and community-serving values.

Core Team

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lisa padilla  

Principal & Owner 

Lisa Padilla, AIA, LEED AP brings 30 years of experience in urban design and architecture.  She's worked for national practices in Los Angeles and San Francisco on the design & management of large urban, public, commercial, residential and retail projects.  She has provided leadership the design and implementation of ground-breaking transit and streetscape projects in LA since returning in 1992. Lisa has a strong record working with public agencies, elected officials, and local stakeholders on complex, community-based design projects.  She served on the National AIA Honor Awards Jury for Regional/Urban Design, the AIA National Steering Committee for Regional/Urban Design, and as a National Peer Reviewer for the General Services Administration.  At the state level Lisa has served on the Editorial Board and Urban Design Committee for AIA/CC.  Locally, she has been appointed by the cities of LA and Pasadena to serve on advisory and visioning committees.

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michael nájera

Urban Designer, Graphic Illustrator & Studio Leader

Michael Nájera brings experience in urban design and has contributed to a wide range of planning and public benefit projects in Southern California. Since graduating from Cal Poly Pomona where he studied landscape and urban design, Michael has collaborated with Lisa on all of the firm's recent endeavors. His talents cover a broad spectrum that includes technical design drawings, information graphics and hand drawn illustrations. He has led detailed field studies, existing conditions analyses, and urban design concepts on large teams led by Cityworks Design. His experience producing 30% design documents, 3D Sketchup models, illustrative diagrams, perspective sketches and photography make him a natural leader on teams. His work on the Connect US and Rail to River Active Transportation Corridor Projects for Metro merged his interest in helping local communities, cycling, running and creative design.

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christina hon, AICP

Urban Planner & Guidelines Specialist

Christina Hon graduated from UC Irvine and UCLA’s Masters in Planning program with experience in several municipal planning departments across Los Angeles and Orange Counties. During her work in the public sector she solidified an understanding of foundational planning and community engagement. Christina has organized and participated in many community workshops, neighborhood working group meetings, and field surveys with community members. Her professional experience includes analyzing land use and transportation data, developing design guidelines for specific plans, performing field analysis, and proposing transit-oriented community projects. She has honed her skills as an information graphics illustrator, document designer and writer, that when merged with her planning experience, help clients and communities achieve their goals.

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Esmi Rennick

Social Impact Spatial Designer

Esmi Rennick graduated from Art Center College of Design as an Environmental Designer focused on social impact projects. She values sustainable solutions that consider the environment and social/economic implications on a neighborhood. Her recent design work was developed in collaboration with community members so the outcomes reflect their culture and specific needs.  As a freelance designer, she has been able to work on a wide variety of projects within different fields like urban design plans, graphics projects, and tactical urbanism campaigns. Most frequently she has worked alongside artist Jenna Didier on several public art installations producing concept proposals, renderings and construction documents. She has begun collaborating with Cityworks Design where she can continue to merge community design and social engagement to help people improve their neighborhoods.


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pATRICIA SMITH, Landscape Architect + Planner

Pat has extensive experience in the design and construction of urban design and landscape projects throughout Southern California.  As a landscape architect and urban designer, she specializes in streetscape improvements, active transportation projects and transit-oriented communities. As a planner, she has authored award-winning design guidelines, specific plans and master plans. Her public projects include parks, plazas, boulevards and schools. Pat is known for bringing strong technical knowledge to projects that focus on community health and activity, making them more sustainable on multiple levels.


DEBORAH MURPHY urban design + planning

Deborah provides leadership in urban design and pedestrian planning through a visionary and consensus-building process. She focuses on sustainable cities and communities by melding land use and transportation planning to create safe, walkable neighborhoods. Her grant funding services have resulted in over $160 million in awards to public agencies and non-profits. Deborah thrives on the challenges of transforming cities and communities in Southern California as they integrate new transit systems and creative development amidst demographic changes.



Yunsoo is an award-winning landscape architect, devoted to the creation of beautifully timeless open spaces in the US and abroad. His work spans public and private sectors including transportation, waterfronts, school and corporate campuses, streetscapes, parks, mixed-use projects and transit-oriented development (TOD). His designs support human well-being through innovation and clear documentation. Yunsoo has extensive experience taking landscape design concepts through construction, in order to realize his clients’ vision.



With an extensive knowledge of California native and drought-tolerant plants, Jeannie specializes in regenerative, watershed-wise landscape design that conserves and retains water on-site, while promoting bio-sequestration. She is devoted to creating playful, inspirational intersections of nature and the urban environment that connect people to their natural, Southern California environment.  She thrives on public engagement to fully realize designs that positively impact people and their neighborhood.



Public Agencies

  • LA County Metro

  • Expo Line Construction Authority

  • Foothill Construction Authority

  • City of Glendale

  • City of Long Beach

  • City of Los Angeles

  • City of Pasadena

  • City of Santa Monica

  • City of West Hollywood


Engineering & Planning Firms


  • Fehr + Peers

  • KOA

  • Parsons Brinckerhoff

  • Placeworks

  • STV Inc

  • WSP