City Lights Design Alliance is a coalition of independently operating design professionals collaborating on a project basis to do selective new work in urban design, architecture and community planning. The firm was founded in 1993 and is led by Keenan E. Smith, AIA. Keenan is an architect, urban designer, planner and teacher with over 26 years of deep professional experience.


The mission of City Lights Design Alliance is to progressively advance, skillfully integrate, and beautifully synthesize the design of architecture, urban design, and community planning.

This purpose is pursued through a collaborative practice based on creative ideas, their pragmatic development andskillful execution, resulting in exemplary built work.


City Lights Design Alliance provides design consultation and services to assist clients in envisioning, formulating, and implementing improvements to the built environment through three fundamental scales of design; taken together, these shape a full range of environmental experience.

Community Planning:  Large scale studies addressing “The Big Picture,” conserving and enhancing natural systems, defining essential urban patterns and human-scaled connections within the larger regional and metropolitan context.  Particular emphasis is placed on creating an overall community identity and establishing a planning and design “framework” and “guiding principles” which can accommodate evolving development demands over time.

Urban Design:  Intermediate scale studies concerned with “Place-Making,” the shaping of project identity and character, the organization of activities, development of linkages, and the distribution and mixture of uses.  This level of design looks at urban districts, building complexes, neighborhoods, infill and redevelopment zones, parks, and open space with an eye to creating a more vital, humanistic urban realm.

Architecture:  Individual projects focusing on designing with “Context” and “Human Scale,” crafting commercial & institutional buildings, residences, cluster-housing and civic architecture which are integrated with their immediate surroundings and possess elements enhancing the sensual details and rich experiences of everyday life.  Architectural forms and character are developed to promote an appropriate balance between the need for private space and opportunities for lively public interaction and events.

City Lights Design Alliance assembles teams of seasoned, innovative design professionals on a project-by-project basis, bringing a high level of creative thinking, design expertise and a depth of management experience to bear directly, economically and efficiently on every client’s individual and evolving project needs.