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 research.

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 PLAN IMPLEMENTATION

The intern will (1) Perform field inspection of City Steps. The City of Pittsburgh has more steps than any other US City, yet a comprehensive inspection and maintenance program has yet to be adopted. Steps inspection data will be analyzed and paired with a community process to ensure accurate prioritization of repair and maintenance work; (2) Assist in bicycle and pedestrian facility design. The City of Pittsburgh has partnered with BikePGH in an ongoing assessment of routes for improvement of the network and provision of design services in support of new facilities; (3) Identify and prioritize end parking locations in the City of Pittsburgh. This will include varying types of “last mile” facilities and coordination with property owners for siting those amenities.

Requirements: Ability to work on independent teams in multiple environments. Research, data entry, data analytics, graphic design, and AutoCAD skills are all valued.

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 connectivity 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.  In addition the 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 LinkedIn and Twitter (@ADAPGH). Find out more here.

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 (3) 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 / 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 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.


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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