Our mission is to transform how infrastructure is designed and constructed with the goal of building resilient cities and communities.


Infrastructure of
the Commons


Infrastructure of
the Commons

urb-in is a practice specializing in infrastructure and design. We seek to recast how infrastructure projects are planned, designed, and constructed. We believe a successful project relies on practices that meet or exceed core programmatic goals, achieve standards of design excellence, and engage with community stakeholders honestly and transparently.

Our practice focuses on changing how people experience infrastructure. We challenge the status quo which has relegated many of these essential facilities to the periphery, placed out of sight, and often becoming blights on the communities they serve.  Our work seeks to re-write this narrative by creating a new process that delivers projects with a high degree of performance, design, and cohesion into the urban fabric.


Our process begins with a period of examination and analysis of the project brief. The unpacking of the brief’s constraints and opportunities guides our team in the creation of a project approach. We craft our strategy to address each project’s unique set of criteria, focusing on the most salient issues to produce the best outcomes. 

We have been fortunate to work on projects at a variety of scales. Over time, through experience and observing best practices, we strive to achieve the following key principles in our work:

Core Program
Meet and exceed programmatic goals. Deliver a project that is on time, on budget, and built to last.

At the outset of the project, provide clear direction to align goals between the project team and the client to keep the overall vision on course.

Stakeholders vary with each project; in each instance, identify which communities or groups benefit from or are impacted by the proposed project. Devise strategies to engage these communities and stakeholders early and often.


Jonathan Manzo, Principal

Jonathan Manzo is the owner and founder of urb-in , a practice specializing in infrastructure and urban design. His past work has ranged from large-scale project design management and master planning for institutional clients within the utility sector, to work on residential and commercial projects.

The projects Jonathan and urb-in oversaw within the utility sector delivered facilities that set new standards for design, community engagement, reliability, and resilience. Most notably, urb-in has overseen the design process of five new substation facilities and developed the master planning and disposition strategy for a thirty-two-acre property on the site of the former Hunters Point Power Plant in San Francisco.

Jonathan is a graduate of Connecticut College and received his Masters in Architecture (M.Arch). from California College of the Arts.

Andrew Guenzer, Project Director

Andrew Guenzer is Project Director at urb-in, where he works to support design excellence and project success through rich communication and clear organization.

Andrew came to urb-in with a commitment to its mission of building resilient cities and transforming the urban fabric. In a previous career as a therapist and social worker, he witnessed how neglect and lack of investment in the built environment impacted the health and well-being of entire communities.

 Andrew is a graduate of Yale University.



AIA San Francisco Design Awards Commendation in Urban Design: Hunters Point Shoreline
(Project Manager)


AIA Los Angeles Next LA Honor Award For Excellence in Architectural Design (11/2018 – Present):
Boyle Tower



Architectural Record:
Larkin Street Substation Addition Illuminates an Industrial Corner in San Francisco
(BNP Media, November 2019, Vol 207, No. 11, Pages 1


San Francisco Magazine:
When a Power Station Makes Love to a Parklet
(Link no longer active)

San Francisco Magazine:
How to Turn a Vacant Lot into an Urban Oasis
(Link no longer active)


Architecture Record:
Luminous Revivals PG&E Mission Substation


City Lab:
How an Audio Booth Changed the Conversation Around a Major S.F. Redevelopment Project

The Los Angeles Times:
A New Center in Boyle Heights Is A ‘Little Piece of Heaven’ For Gay Latinos

Trust Your Hustle: Cha Cha Economy and Alternative, Latina Business Models


The Museum of Modern Art, New York:
Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities


A Chance for Bayview Residents to Tell Their Stories


California College of the Arts Architecture Studio Series / Refract House:
Design Project featured in a book chronicling 2009 Solar Decathlon


NGLCC: #12777

CPUC LGBTBE: #16001293



LEED AP: #0010489250

AIA: #30518839