Department of City Planning
Internships

The Department of City Planning provides a number of for-credit / for-experience unpaid internships for both graduate and undergraduate students.  These internships are designed to be part-time with flexible time frames so that students can combine them with a class or work schedule.  They are available throughout the year.

Interested students should send a resume to:

richard.meritzer@pittsburghpa.gov

Richard Meritzer
Department of City Planning
200 Ross Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

(412) 255-2102

We accept applications for every term at any time up to each term's deadline.  Upcoming application deadlines:

  • Summer 2013: May 6th
  • Fall 2013: September 16th
  • Winter/Spring 2014: January 13, 2014

There are a number of internships that are introductory in nature and on-going.  We fill these positions regularly:

 
CITY FORESTER INTERN

Assist City Forester with data collection as it relates to trees. Specifically work on City of Pittsburgh Treekeeper inventory assessing ash trees. Create project to remove and replace ash trees throughout the City of Pittsburgh. Work to create grading system of trees and bid documents for removal and planting of new trees. Assess locations for new trees, and assist with species selection. Work with City Forestry Department to coordinate removals when necessary. Work with contractors when necessary to coordinate work. 

Be available to work some Saturdays during tree planting season to assist with volunteer tree planting projects throughout various neighborhoods in the City. Assist Tree Pgh with tree care and maintenance when needed.

Assist with field work as it relates to the TreeVitalize program.

Requirements: Candidate should have Forestry background or knowledge of tree species. Be self-motivated with ability to work alone. Basic computer skills required.

RESIDENTIAL PARKING PERMIT PROGRAM DISTRICT RECERTIFICATION PROJECT

The intern will review questionnaire results from current permit holders in a Residential Parking Permit Program district to determine the continued desire for the program.  They will attend a meeting of the lead community groups(s) to make a presentation and obtain a resolution to continue the program.  The intern will identify the existing impactors through field surveys of parkers and other available data and determine the existing parking needs and facilities.  They will then draft a recertification report and present it to the City Planning Commission.

Requirements: The intern must be currently taking courses relevant to a planning career.  They must be experienced in working with computers including Word and Excel. The intern must have some experience working with community groups.

RESIDENTIAL PERMIT PARKING PROGRAM EXPANSION PROJECT

The intern will convene a meeting to determine what streets are interested in being included in the Residential Parking Permit Program. They will then identify and help train petitioners and verify petition results.  The intern will establish the acceptance of inclusion of these streets with the permit district holders or lead community organization.  They will perform a parking survey to establish that the area qualifies.  They will develop a briefing and present it to the City Planning Commission.  From this they will help to draft legislation.

Requirements: The intern must be currently taking courses relevant to a planning career.  They must be experienced in working with computers including Word and Excel.  The intern must have some experience working with community groups.

ADA COMPLIANCE INTERN

The Department of City Planning Staff is reviewing City-owner facilities for Americans for Disabilities Act (ADA) Compliance.  Coordinate activities with the City of Pittsburgh / Allegheny County Task Force on Disabilities; update of web page; and follow-up on identified improvements needed on city facilities.  They will continue to work on various accessibility projects.

Requirements: The intern must be comfortable working with Excel, computer data management and analysis techniques.  He or she must be able to work with minimal supervision and have good writing skills. Must be available to work Monday afternoons.

GRANTSPERSON

The City of Pittsburgh has been working to improve accessibility for people with disabilities. However many of these projects are very expensive and require additional outside financial support.  The intern will identify funding sources for these projects, develop a work plan for activities which these funders would support and draft a budget.  They will also process payments for existing contacts.  

Requirements: The intern must be comfortable working with Excel, computer data management, and analysis techniques

ZONING COUNTER INTERN

The Department of City Planning is responsible for approval of all buildings and property usage in the City of Pittsburgh.  Most of these approvals are routine and handled at the zoning counter.  The intern will assist applicants in filling out routine applications, research applications and questions and help maintain the zoning files.

Requirements: The intern must be comfortable working with Excel, computer data management, and analysis techniques.

CITY BICYCLE PLAN IMPLEMENTATION

The intern will (1) contact motorists’ and bicyclists’ groups to identify issues regarding courtesy. Once those issues are identified the intern will evaluate and draft a course study and contact grade schools and driving schools to determine an implementation strategy for this course study; (2) develop and implement a program for distribution of the City Bicycle Plan;  (3) identify and prioritize end parking locations in the City of Pittsburgh.  This will include investigation of various funding sources (both public and private).

Requirements: The intern must have experience working on community projects.  They must be experienced in working with computers including Word and Excel.

OPEN SPACE PLANNING INTERN

The City is currently undertaking a City-wide Comprehensive Open Space, Parks, and Recreation Plan.  This is to be the first component of the City's first-ever Comprehensive Plan.  The goals of this Plan are to develop sustainable uses, whether they be short-term temporary, long-term temporary, or permanent, for surplus vacant land; protect environmentally sensitive natural resources so that future growth and development can take place in appropriate areas; and assure the equitable use, distribution, and connectivity of the City's parks, recreation, and trails system.

To help in the development of the Plan, the intern will assist in creation of materials to generate public interest and public participation for the Plan; do background research and benchmarking for various uses of vacant land, such as urban tree farms, urban farming and agriculture, stormwater management, & bicycle and pedestrian connectivity; and assist in preparation for public meetings, focus group meetings, and community events where discussion of the Open Space, Parks, and Recreation Plan would occur.

Requirements: The intern should be currently in a program related to Urban Planning, Landscape Architecture, Urban Studies, Architecture, or Environmental Studies.  Computer skills desired include familiarity with Word and Excel, some design of promotional materials using Photoshop, InDesign or a similar program, and use of social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.).

PERMIT APPLICATION SPECIALIST INTERN

The City of Pittsburgh has recently implemented a new comprehensive software program for all permits and licenses issued through Zoning, Public Works, and the Bureau of Building Inspection.  In coordination with this new software system, all permit applications need to undergo a comprehensive update to further improve efficiency within the permit approval process. The intern will review and revise current permit applications working with all city departments to improve their information intake and better streamline the application process.

Requirements: The intern must have experience using Microsoft Office.  Experience with graphic layout and design is a plus.  The applicant should.

CITY ADDRESSING INTERN

Addresses are the building blocks of a city--navigation, emergency response, and many other administrative tasks require a system of addresses that is consistent, logical, and accurate in order to run smoothly.  If you know anything about the messy way Pittsburgh's streets are laid out, you can imagine how its addresses can have problems.  250-plus years of construction, demolition, and reconfiguration have turned Pittsburgh's addressing system into a hodge-podge of out of sequence numbers and illogical arrangements--the City has an Addressing Committee made up of representatives from a variety of departments and agencies that is working to fix this.  When emergency responders can't find someone's house because the addressing system is broken, people can die--fixing Pittsburgh's addresses is crucial to the vitality of our City and its residents.  City Planning is hiring an intern to assist with the committee's various special projects (as well as administrative tasks).

Requirements: The ideal intern for this assignment will be a strong project manager who can juggle several different tasks at once.  This position will require accurate and efficient note-taking and communications skills--the intern will need to communicate effectively with officials from many different departments and agencies.  Attendance at the committee's monthly (Friday morning) meeting is mandatory.  Writing skills are essential, and some basic graphic design skills are a plus--the intern will lead a project to create an information packet about address changes to be distributed to the public when such changes occur.  Other tasks will include data management and logistics related to the addressing system--a strong understanding of (and perhaps a love for) maps is required.


We are increasingly finding that we need web design as part of the planning process.  We have two assignments specifically dealing with web design:

PERMITTING AND LICENSING INTERN

The City of Pittsburgh has recently implemented a new comprehensive software program for all permits and licenses issued through Zoning, Public Works, and the Bureau of Building Inspection.  One of the main components of this program will be a new website designated for permits and licenses where the general public will be able to access information and apply for permits.  

The intern will review and revise current permit applications.  In addition they will create user friendly web based application forms for permits and licenses.  The intern will assist with creating new web page for Permits and Licenses researching information on other City web pages for ideas and concepts and work with city departments to report up to date information.

Requirements: The intern must have experience using Windows XP, Microsoft Office, Photoshop and/or InDesign. Good graphic design skills are a plus.  The applicant should have good experience with website design, as well as excellent organizational, research, writing and proof reading skills.

URBAN FORESTER INTERN

Assist with creating new web page for City Of Pittsburgh Shade Tree Commission.

Research information on other City web pages for ideas and concepts and work with existing partner groups to report up to date information. Work in-house with City of Pittsburgh CIS Department and Mapping Division., SNAP etc. to include links, information on site. Work closely with CIS Department Staff to insure formatting/design is in sync with other City Departments web pages.

The City has a goal to plant 20,000 trees by 2012. An example of one goal would be to have a real time ticker on main page of City’s web site of trees to planted to date.

Create format for folks to register trees on line with the ability to tie into ticker.

Create user friendly web based application forms for tree planting requests, pruning permits, etc.  Provide facts and Best Management Practice information in regards to trees. Coordinate links with Forestry.  Ability to work alone in the field from time to time to take pictures for use on web page. Ability to work on occasional weekends during tree planting season to assist with documenting tree planting events to be seen on web page. 

Must have strong creative and marketing skills to create buzz for City Shade Tree Commission.

Requirements: Ability to work alone in the field from time to time to take pictures for use on web page.  Ability to work on occasional weekends during tree planting season to assist with documenting tree planting events to be seen on web page.


We need interns with an interest in communication to provide their technical skills.  These positions include:

PLANPGH

The City is embarking on its first every Comprehensive Plan (http://www.planpgh.com).  This project includes a number of outreaches including social media, drafting press releases, designing flyers and posters and developing creative outreach materials.  The current phases of the plan are:

  • Transportation - MOVEPGH
  • Urban Design - DESIGNPGH
  • Housing – LIVEPGH

Requirements: The interns must be experienced in working with computers including Word and Excel.  They should have extensive knowledge of social media.  Knowledge of computer applications for page layout, image processing Photoshop, Adobe Creative Suite and CAAD (AutoCAAD) a plus.

ADA COMPLIANCE INTERN

The Disability Community is very tech savvy.  Communicating with them requires multiple outreaches with multiple accommodations.  Currently the office is engaged in producing videos for cable television and the web to communicate with the disability community programs the City is involved in (http://www.city.pittsburgh.pa.us/cp/html/ada_coordinator.html#videos).  In addition the ADA Coordinator Web Page has become the archive of information for the Disaiblity community.  But this has been haphazard and needs to be redesigned.  The intern will draft scripts and oversee the taping of the television spots.  They will help design the web page.  And they will engage the disability community through social media.

Requirements: The interns must be experienced in working with computers including Word and Excel.  They should have experience in writing.   They should have extensive knowledge of social media.       


There are a number of internships that are more technical in nature.  We only fill these positions if we feel the applicant has the background to perform the task:

ZONING LEGAL INTERN

The intern will be researching zoning issues and case law, as well as processing Permits and Zoning Certificates. The position includes comprehensive legal research and writing for decisions and text amendments. The intern will be attending Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Adjustment Hearings and helping with the preparations for these hearings. The candidate will provide assistance to the Zoning Case Review Specialists as needed on a variety of tasks.

Requirements: The candidate must be available to attend hearings on Thursdays.  The candidate must have a solid working knowledge of software programs such as Access and Excel, and must have excellent organizational skills. The candidate must be a law student and should have good legal research and writing skills. The candidate should be comfortable with direct client contact and be able to work independently.

TRANSPORTATION DESIGN INTERN

The Department of City Planning for the City of Pittsburgh has a need for  a self-motivated individual to compile, review, and coordinate standards for inclusion in the first-ever Street Design Manual for the City of Pittsburgh. This individual will work with City Departments, consultants, external agency partners and other stakeholders to become familiar with what the City currently utilizes as design standards and develop a list of needed updates and/or revisions. This individual will become familiar with the existing process for application approval of design alternates and assist the MOVEPGH team in developing a way to clearly communicate process steps in the Street Design Manual that benefits the user. 

Requirements: The intern must have experience using Windows XP, Microsoft Office including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint as well as good graphic design skills, both manual and digital. For page layout, image processing and CAAD (AutoCAAD) is a plus.

TRANSPORTATION AUDIT INTERN

An individual to coordinate the update of Professional Services Contract consultant invoice formatting. The individual will coordinate with the Department of City Planning and the City of Pittsburgh Controller's Office to create an updated template for invoicing that will increase efficiency and accuracy in auditing. The work will be guided by experience in auditing a number of Transportation related Professional Service Contracts. The individual will be guided through the existing process and tasked with coordinating an update that is acceptable to the Controller's Office.  

Requirements: The intern must have experience using Windows XP, Microsoft Office including Word, AND Excel.

ARCHITECTURAL PLANNING INTERN

The City of Pittsburgh Planning Department staffs the Contextual Design Advisory Panel. This group provides design guidance to maximize the economic, civic, contextual, and aesthetic value of important development projects in the City.  The Planning Department is also undertaking several projects aimed at improving the City’s Zoning Code; creating and strengthening design guidelines and standards; and evaluating and improving our design review process.  The intern will assist staff with many of these programs and projects.

Requirements: Training in architecture or urban design is required, as well as good graphic design skills, both manual and digital. Knowledge of computer applications for page layout, image processing and CAAD (AutoCAAD) is a plus.

PUBLIC ART INTERN

Some of the projects the Intern may work on include:

1) Archive project files

2) Maintain an archive of artworks in the City’s public art collection, including photographs, project schedules, construction drawings, meetings, etc. and write up evaluations of each project, based upon established criteria;

3) Research and document any outdoor sculpture and artwork in storage, i.e. in DPW's warehouses, etc. and determine possibilities for relocating accordingly;

4) Assist with Art Commission and monthly meetings, including agendas, gathering appropriate agenda information to be mailed in advance of each meeting, writing meeting minutes, updates on ongoing projects, and ongoing communication;

5) Research and assist in the application for grants for public art conservation funding, both ongoing (i.e. Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, PA Council on the Arts, NEA, etc.) and new initiatives;

6) Research Percent for Art and prepare strategy to expand legislation to encompass capital projects with any city financing, capital projects by any city Authorities (including URA, Housing, Water and Sewer, Stadium, and Parking), and public and private development.

7) Work with the Office of Public Art (OPA) and Public Art Manager on coordination of implementation of projects.  The OPA is a partnership with the Department of City Planning and the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council.

Requirements: The intern must be a graduate student pursuing a degree in a relevant field to art administration comfortable working with Excel, computer data management and analysis techniques.  He or she must be able to work with minimal supervision and have good writing skills.

City of Pittsburgh Department of City Planning
200 Ross Street, Fourth Floor | Pittsburgh, PA 15219 | 412-255-2200 | E-mail

what's this?