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
Department of City Planning
200 Ross Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
richard.meritzer@pittsburghpa.gov
(412) 255-2102

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

  • Summer: May 1
  • Fall: September 15
  • Winter/Spring: January 15

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

RESIDENTIAL PERMIT PARKING PROGRAM 
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.
 
In addition 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.
 
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.
 
ZONING COUNTER INTERN
The Division of Development Administration and Review is responsible for the review
and approval of all development projects and property usage within the city of Pittsburgh. 
The application process for these projects begins at the Zoning Counter, where 
applications are vetted and processed. The intern will assist the Zoning Specialists in the 
day-to-day operations of the Zoning Counter which include project research, maintaining 
zoning files, and customer service. Larger research projects are assigned periodically by 
the Zoning Code Administrative Officer; past projects have included development of 
informational handouts, comparative Zoning Code research, and historic property.
 
Requirements: The candidate should have excellent organizational and writing skills 
and be able to work independently. The candidate must be proficient in Microsoft Office 
Suite. Experience with Adobe Suite, specifically InDesign, preferred.
 
CITY BICYCLE/PEDESTRIAN DEVEOPLMENT INTERSHIP
The Bicycle and Pedestrian Office at the city of Pittsburgh is part of the team
transforming our streets into vibrant and safe places for everyone to walk and bike. 
Interns should have a strong interest in urban design and active mobility. They 
should also be a current or recent student of Urban Design, Urban Studies, Landscape 
Architecture or Architecture.
 
Requirements: Data Intern: Many of our projects include a large component of data collection and 
analysis that is used to inform design decisions.
Requirements: data collection, entry, 
analysis, graphic representation.
Design: This position encompasses anything from system design (identifying routes 
and missing links) to very detailed design (signage packages, bike rack locating, 
and intersection design). Requirements: proficiency in the Adobe Creative Suite and 
AutoCAD, GIS is a plus.
 
CITY BICYCLE/PEDESTRIAN RESEARCH INTERSHIP
Many of our projects require best practice, funding, traffic and policy research. 
Requirements: Writing and reporting, experience in Adobe Indesign is a plus.
Major Projects for 2015:
(1) New bike facility design and implementation. 
(2) Creation of the Bike Rack Guide: a public guide describing the bike rack process
(3) City Steps Inspection and Report: We are in the process of coordinating a major count 
and analysis all of Pittsburgh’s staircases.
(4) Comprehensive Plan: As part of the City’s comprehensive plan, we are working 
towards the publishing of a new bicycle and pedestrian plan in 2015. 
(5) Analytics and Counting: we are working on better systems for counting bicycles and 
pedestrians.
 
Requirements: Ability to work on independent teams in multiple environments. Research, 
data entry, data analytics, graphic design, and AutoCAD skills are all valued.
 
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.).
 
LANDSCAPE DESIGNER/GRAPHIC DESIGN INTERN
The City is currently implementing recommendations of its adopted Openspace 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 or open space; protect 
environmentally sensitive natural resources so that future growth and development can 
take place in appropriate areas; and assure the equitable use, distribution, and onnectivity 
of the City's parks, recreation, and trails system.
To help in the implementation 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 open space. The development of planning documents, 
using graphic design skills will be a large component of the work.
 
Requirements: The intern should be currently or be a graduate in a program related to 
Urban Design, Landscape Architecture, Architecture, or Graphic Design. Computer skills 
required include familiarity with Word and Excel, proficiency in Photoshop, InDesign, 
Illustrator, and Sketch-up or other 3-d Modeling software.
 
LAND USE POLICY INTERN
The Land Use Policy Intern will assist Department of City Planning staff with various 
processes related to land use and zoning policy. The intern will research best practices in 
land use policy from cities across the United States in order to develop new policies and 
practices that will aid in the revitalization of Pittsburgh's neighborhoods.
The intern will also conduct various surveys to assess current land use in Pittsburgh's 
neighborhoods and assist in the analysis of the results of the surveys. The surveys, 
along with best practices research, will help to guide new land use policy for targeted 
neighborhoods.
The intern will assist in various communication methods with the public. Various 
forms of communication will be necessary to successfully complete the projects to be 
undertaken through this program--email, social media, mailings, community meetings, 
etc.
 
Requirements: The candidate for this internship should be pursuing (or have intent to pursue) studies in Urban Planning or a similar field. The candidate should have excellent communications skills, preferably with experience in customer service and/or public relations. The candidate should have solid writing skills, with abilities to convey complex topics in a clear and concise manner. The candidate should possess good research skills--experience with writing policy briefs is a plus. This position requires attention to detail and effective communication though should be comfortable with working with minimal supervision--setting up a work-plan with realistic targets is critical, and the supervisor will assist with this.

Increasingly we find the need for interns with an interest in communication to provide their technical skills. 

SOCIAL MEDIA 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, has a LinkedIn account, a Twitter account and 
the web to communicate with the disability community programs the City is involved in 
ADA Coordinator Web Page has become the archive of information for the Disability 
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. In addition 
we wish to improve our reach into LinkIn and Twitter (@ADAPGH).
 
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.      

In addition, as the City needs to look elsewhere for both resources and expertise, we are finding that we need accounting/ finance interns as part of the planning process.  We have two assignments specifically dealing with accounting/ finance:

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.

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:

GIS INTERN
The Department of City Planning is looking for an individual(s) who have completed 
some course work in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or Computer Science. The 
individual will use their skills to work hand in hand with the department staff to fulfill 
their GIS needs. 
 
Knowledge of:
• The principles, practices and techniques of Geographic Information Systems, and of 
ARCGIS, Computer Programming either Python, Java, or JavaScript.
 
Considerable knowledge of:
• Geography, cartography, graphic design, and ESRI’s ArcGIS software suite.
• Hardware, software, and communications components needed to support and integrate 
GIS, Publishing, PC and data processing capabilities; and of graphic data input and 
output 
 
Ability to:
• Effectively use Windows Based PC’s and operating systems.
• Produce and reproduce maps and graphics reports and documents.
• Analyze complex systems requiring coordination of diverse information and 
departmental 
• Establish and maintain records and prepare accurate reports, drawings, etc.,.
• Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.
• Establish and maintain effective working relationships with supervisors, associates, 
outside agencies and the general public.
 
DIVISION OF ADMINISTRATION AND REVIEW LEGAL INTERN
The Division of Development Administration and Review is responsible for the review
and approval of all development projects and property usage within the city of Pittsburgh. 
The Division staffs the Zoning Board of Adjustment and the Planning Commission, 
both quasi-judicial bodies. The legal intern provides assistance to the ZBA, preparing 
for and attending hearings, drafting opinions, and conducting legal research. The intern 
will also provide legal assistance to the Division and Commission by conducting 
comparative legal research, drafting text amendments, processing Zoning Certificates, 
and a completing a variety of related tasks.
 
Requirements
The candidate must have completed one (1) year of law school. Course work or 
experience with land use planning preferred. The candidate must have excellent research, 
writing, and organizational skills. The candidate should be comfortable with direct client 
contact and be able to work independently. The candidate must be available to attend 
hearings on Thursday mornings and early afternoons.
 
The candidate should submit (1) a resume, (2) a brief, unedited writing sample, and (2) an 
unofficial law school transcript.
 
TRANSPORTATION AND LAND USE INTERN
The Department of City Planning for the City of Pittsburgh has a need for self-motivated 
individuals to:
 
A - Assist with integrated transportation and land use planning. Work includes 
development and revitalization projections to forecast future transit, cycling, and 
pedestrian access, organized within specific corridors throughout the City. This will be 
accompanied by infrastructure funding scenarios to weigh the cost-benefit of specific 
projects. Economic impact models will also be applied in consultation with the Urban 
Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh. 
 
B - Applicants are also being sought to assist with developing presentation materials that 
“humanize” technical data, produce visualizations of future systems, and incorporate 
them into presentations utilized for engagement of public and other agency stakeholders.
 
Requirements: The intern must have experience using the Microsoft Office Suite as well 
as good graphic design skills, both manual and digital.
 
ADA LAW INTERN
The ADA Office is charged with enforcing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 
for all City and related Government activities and advising City businesses and residents 
of their responsibility under the law. The intern will review legislation and make 
recommendations regarding compliance with the ADA. 
They will draft advisory letters regarding issues around ADA and Fair Housing 
Compliance, and they will draft legal memos on issues regarding City and 
related governments' activities.
 
Requirements: The candidate must be available to attend City of Pittsburgh / Alleghney
County Task Force on Disabilities meetings on Mondays. 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.
 
ADA ARCHITECTURAL INTERN
The ADA Office is charged with enforcing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 
for all City and related Government activities and advising City businesses and residents 
of their responsibility under the law. The intern will review architectural plans submitted 
to the City and make recommendations regarding compliance with the ADA. 
They will also evaluate City of Pittsburgh facilities for compliance and make 
recommendations.
  
Requirements: The candidate must be available to attend City of Pittsburgh / Allegheny 
County Task Force on Disabilities meetings on Mondays. The candidate must have a 
solid working knowledge of software programs such as Access and Excel, and must have 
training in architecture.
 
RIVERFRONT PLANNING
We are looking for an Intern who can take on Pittsburgh Riverfronts as a study subject, 
gathering all the information we've got, all the plans, best practices from around the 
country and the world, and essentially prepare a white paper type document that would 
serve many purposes 
a) help the Planning Department tell the story of Pittsburgh riverfronts, and how planning 
fits into it; 
b) help the city provide background papers for the participants in a global think tank 
conference, focus, our riverfronts, to be held in April 2015; 
c) help provide background for the ongoing riverfront zoning work that we'll be doing, 
including new directions in planning such as performance based site, building, and use 
strategies; 
d) especially, research work that has connected the waterfront to the larger systems of the 
city.
 
Requirements: Background in planning, history and landscape architecture, with capacity 
to organize information and develop some visual documentation, and a strong interest in 
emerging practices in urban land use planning and design.
 
CATALOG LIBRARIAN INTERN
The intern will be tasked with creating and implementing an accessible filing system for 
the department. The goal of this position is to catalog and classify physical and digital 
information. The intern must organize publications, documents and other reference 
materials in a filing system and manipulate them into digital form.
The intern will assist in managing the filing system and its function. The candidate would 
help conduct periodic inventories of documents, maps, journal articles, memos, and 
official Strategic Planning records.
 
Requirements: Ability to work autonomously. The intern must be able to create a 
working database to catalog Strategic Planning files past and present. The intern must be 
familiar with library sciences and technology driven filing systems.

Interested students should send a resume to:

Richard Meritzer
Department of City Planning
200 Ross Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Or E-mail a resume to: Richard.meritzer@pittsburghpa.gov
Or Call: (412) 255-2102

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

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