About Me

Cindy Zerger, Urban Design Leader

Passionate about design and the human experience, Cindy Zerger serves as the Urban Design Director of California for Toole Design. With two decades of professional experience and master’s degrees in both landscape architecture and urban planning, her work lies at the intersection of urban design and strategic communications. Cindy works with clients in the public and private sector to tackle how to creatively design, implement, and maintain public places. From streets to trails, from plazas to parks, her interest and ability is in distilling client and community desires and translating that into creative design and policy solutions.

Much of Cindy’s work is focused on streets, trails, and linear spaces because she recognizes it is in these seemingly in-between spaces that we have the greatest missed opportunity of our time. Cindy currently works in a collaborative, interdisciplinary environment at Toole Design, leading teams of landscape architects, planners, and engineers to develop creative streetscape and urban design solutions for communities across the country.

A challenge for many communities is how to advance change. Communicating about and having a meaningful dialogue around the idea of changing our streets, roads, and highways from an auto-centric model to a people-centric one can be challenging and contentious. Cindy is often asked to facilitate these types of conversations and is looked to as a thought leader in advancing a human-centered approach to transportation systems.


Honor Award (2019), ASLA Potomac Chapter
Capital City Bikeway / Jackson Street Reconstruction

UMN Center for Transportation Studies Research Award (2015)
From Policy to Project: The Planning and Implementation of Complete Streets at Multiple Scales

HWS Cleveland Award (2011), ASLA Minnesota Chapter
for Achievement by a Young Professional

Honor Award (2008), ASLA Minnesota Chapter
for Outstanding Academic Achievement


Urban Design Director / California (2020-Present)
Toole Design

Based in the Oakland CA office

Senior Urban Designer and Associate (2014-2020)
Toole Design

Center Design Coordinator and Research Fellow (2009-2014)
Center for Changing Landscapes and Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs

Landscape Designer Associate (2007-2009)
Coen + Partners

Central Division Alpine Division Competition Manager (2000-2004)
United States Ski and Snowboard Association