Department of City Planning
Internships

Internship Positions

The Department of City Planning provides a number of unpaid (for-credit/or-experience) 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.


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


Residential Permit Parking Program Intern

Responsibilities:

  • 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 impacts 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

Responsibilities:

  • The intern will review and evaluate complaints regarding ADA issues and requests for City approval of projects; coordinate activities with the City of Pittsburgh / Allegheny County Task Force on Disabilities; 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.
  • They must be able to work with minimal supervision and have good writing skills.
  • They must be available to work Monday afternoons.

Zoning Counter Intern

Responsibilities:

    The Division of Zoning and Development Review administers the City of Pittsburgh Zoning Code.  The intent of zoning regulations is to allow property owners the reasonable use of their property insofar as the use is not detrimental to abutting properties or the neighborhood.

    Interns help Division Staff:

    • Research the legal use of properties
    • Research best practices in Zoning
    • Design handouts and other materials
    • Assist with daily tasks and other projects as needed

    Requirements:

    • Inquiring mind
    • Enthusiasm for self-starting
    • Writing and Organizational skills
    • Proficiency in Microsoft Office
    • Experience in Adobe Suite

    Open Space Planning Intern

    Responsibilities:

      The City is currently implementing its Open Space Plan (2013), a City-wide Comprehensive Open Space, Parks, and Recreation Plan.  The goals of this Plan, which the intern will help realize, 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.
      • 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 implementation materials regarding parks, greenways, and vacant land.

      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.).

      FOOD POLICY INTERN 

      Responsibilities:

        The Department of City Planning is seeking a Food Policy Intern with an interdisciplinary background, an understanding of systems thinking and a passion for food equity to assist the department in the research and drafting of policies that will promote greater food access and assist in the implementation of initiatives that will create a just and sustainable local food system for all residents of Pittsburgh. 

        Responsibilities may include:

        • Policy research and writing on topics including food systems policy, hunger and food insecurity
        • Conduct research and analysis within one or more of the issue areas listed below:
        1. Urban agriculture.
        2. Public safety & food access.
        3. Employment opportunities in food enterprises.
        4. Community health and wellness.
        5. Local and Regional Food sheds throughout Western PA.

        The ideal candidate should have an understanding of and interest in food policy, including food access, local and regional food systems, and environmental sustainability. The candidate should have excellent research and writing skills, and an interest in using outreach, communications, and social media to advance the office’s food policy mission. 

        Requirements:

        • Currently enrolled in a graduate program.
        • Excellent written and verbal communications skills.
        • Ability to handle multiple tasks and requests in a timely manner.
        • Successful candidates will possess the requisite discipline, organization, and self-motivation to work independently. 

        Environmental Stormwater Intern

        Responsibilities:

          The Department of City Planning Staff reviews development projects for stormwater and floodplain consistency.   

          Our intern will be responsible to:

          • Coordinate activities with the City of Pittsburgh and other entities.
          • Assist in plan processing.
          • Develop outreach presentations/forms.  

          Requirements:

          • The intern should be currently or be a graduate in a program related to Urban Design, Environmental Planning, Landscape Architecture, and/or Civil Engineering. 
          • Computer skills required include familiarity with Word and Excel.

          Land Use Policy Intern

          Responsibilities:

          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.
          • This position will focus on an ongoing community planning process called the Uptown/West Oakland EcoInnovation District.  Candidates should familiarize themselves with the basics of the project by visiting www.ecoinnovationdistrict.org before applying.

          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.

          Grantsperson

          Responsibilities:

          The City of Pittsburgh has been working to improve accessibility for people with disabilities. ​Some of the projects are funded by the City and the intern would draft Requests for Proposal and evaluate the submissions.  ​​In addition 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

          Neighborhood Planning Intern

          Responsibilities:

          We are looking for an intern that has a background in urban studies/planning/design. The Neighborhood Planning Intern will assist the Department of City Planning staff with various processes related to community engagement and neighborhood planning, especially developing a program and literature that will be used to inform the public on land use and zoning.

          • The intern will research best practices in community engagement and neighborhood planning practices across the country in order to develop programming and literature that will aid the department in better serving Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods.
          • The intern will also will assist in various communication methods with the public that will include but not limited to: email, mailings, community meeting, etc.
          • The candidate should have excellent communications skills and be proficient in any program in the Adobe Design Suite. 

          Requirements:

          • 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--those with experience in writing policy briefs should submit writing samples. 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.

          Specialized Internships

          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:


          Art and Archival Internships

          Public Art Assistant Intern

          Responsibilities:

          The Public Art Division of City Planning is looking for (unpaid) interns interested in working with the Public Art Manager administering the City of Pittsburgh’s public art planning and regulatory functions.

          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;
          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. Assist in percent for art 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. Assist in completing and implementing the City’s ArtPLAN (comprehensive plan component)
          8. Assist in planning and implementation of City’s temporary art program in Market Square
          9. Assist in ongoing maintenance and conservation of extant artwork and monuments

          Requirements:

          • The intern must be an undergraduate or graduate student pursuing a degree in a relevant field to art administration comfortable working with excellent data management and analysis techniques. 
          • Interns must be able to work with minimal supervision and have good writing and communication skills.

          Library Science Intern

          Responsibilities:

          This is an unpaid, part-time internship with approximately 20-24 hours worked per week. The internship will continue on an on-going basis until the project is completed.

          The focus of this internship will be to assess the current Planning library and devise a departmental cataloging system. Materials may include such media as books, studies and reports, maps, printed presentations, and microfiche. The collection consists of both published works submitted to the Library of Congress, as well as works from the Department of City Planning and City commissions and boards.

          The Library Science Intern will facilitate projects entailing the following:

          1. Project management for cataloging of the collection; organizing records by subject and type.
          2. Data entry of record details into catalog database.
          3. In conjunction with the City Archival Commission, recommendation and facilitation of future phases for the preservation, digitization, cataloging, and storage of archival items.
          4. Identification of items to be digitized, stored offsite, and/or donated to other City or non-City repositories as appropriate.

          Preferred fields of study and skillsets of applicants:

          • Library Science, Information Science, Archival Studies, Historic Preservation, Museum Management, or a similar field.
          • Strong organizational, writing, and research skills; some familiarity with the Internet, digital imaging, and data entry required.
          • Experience and/or studies relevant to the care, preservation, and conservation of artifacts helpful.

          Design and Architecture Internships

          ADA Architectural Intern

          Responsibilities:

          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.

          Design Review Intern

          Responsibilities:

          The Zoning Division is charged with reviewing development projects for compliance with the Zoning Code and for ensuring high quality designs that enhance the character of Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods.

          The intern will:

          • Assist with the Design Review Staff in the evaluation of the architectural plans.
          • Assist in preparing presentations.
          • Attend and participate in those meetings.

          The candidate will also provide assistance to the Design Review Staff as needed on a variety of tasks

          Requirements:

          • Must have working knowledge of Adobe Design Suite (particularly InDesign) and MS Office;
          • Ability to read architectural drawings; and
          • Ability to work independently. 
          • Preferred candidates are Graduate/ Master’s level students and are available for standing meetings on Monday and Tuesday afternoons.  

          Historic Preservation Intern

          Responsibilities:

          • The intern will assist with evaluating projects, reviews designs, and writes Certificates of Appropriateness.
          • Attends monthly Historic Review Commission meetings.

          Requirements:

          • Considerable knowledge of Microsoft Office Products (Word, Excel, PowerPoint). 
          • Ability to enter data into computerized systems.
          • Communicate effectively both orally and in writing.
          • Provide experienced customer service.
          • Provide a high level of organization.
          • Be an independent thinker. 

          Landscape and Graphic Design Intern

          Responsibilities:

          The City is currently implementing recommendations of its adopted Open Space 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.
          • 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. 
          • Assisting 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.

          City Bicycle and Pedestrian Intern

          Responsibilities:

          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. The intern will assist on varying projects within the scope of Pittsburgh's bicycle and pedestrian goals. 

          System design.

          • Identifying routes and missing links.
          • Detailed design of signage packages, bike rack locating and intersection design.
          • Data collection and analysis.
          • Mapping and graphic design.

          Requirements:

          • Interns should have a strong interest in urban design and active mobility.
          • They should also be a current or recent student of Landscape Architecture, Architecture, or Urban Design.
          • Applicants with a background in design who don’t have one of the mentioned degrees will also be considered
          • Proficiency in the Adobe Creative Suite and AutoCAD.

          Information Technology Internships

          GIS Intern

          Responsibilities:

          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.

          Zoning Board Computer Science Intern

          Responsibilities:

          The focus of this internship will be to assess the current processes for tracking Zoning Board of Adjustment hearings and develop solutions to streamline the handling of this data and reduce redundancy by employees working with this case information. Zoning Board applicants sign up for cases at the Zoning Office and then the case data is worked with using Microsoft Office programs: Word, Excel, and Access.

          The Zoning Board Computer Science intern will facilitate the following:

          • Identify the data collected and tracked for each Zoning Board case.
          • Interview employees that work with the Zoning Board case process at each stage to learn how they interact with the current software files.
          • Determine how existing programs might be consolidated into fewer programs, preferably using the Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel & Access).
          • Enhance or develop programs to eliminate redundancy and improve data entry and reporting interfaces.
          • Integrate (import) historical data from any programs deemed to be redundant into those programs that will continue to be used.
          • Work with Zoning Code Administration Officer to identify reports to be updated or created.
          • Present a basic introduction to any new spreadsheet, database, and/or reporting features to relevant employees.

          Requirements:

          • Computer Science, Information Technologies, Software Management, or a similar field.
          • Experience and/or studies relevant to data management, task workflow processes, and relational database are desired.
          • This intern will be expected to follow IT industry best practices to prevent loss of data during this project.
          • Good writing, research, and organizational skills; familiarity with digital imaging, data merging, designing MS Access data collection forms and reports would be most helpful.

          ADA Social Media Intern

          Responsibilities:

          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. We also have a LinkedIn account, a Twitter account and the web to communicate to 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 Disability community. This has become 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.
          • They will also engage the disability community through social media.
          • In addition, we wish to improve our reach into LinkedIn 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.

          City Data Intern

          Responsibilities:

          Many of our projects require data collection and field surveys to inform design and planning decisions. This internship would involve conducting interviews, collecting data in the field, recording and entering the data, reporting and presentation.

          Major Projects for 2016:

          • Business district research and transportation survey with reporting.
          • Bicycle and Pedestrian counting and reporting.
          • Parking data collection.
          • Research into best practices.

          Requirements:

          • Applicant will need to have productive research and reporting skills.
          • They will need to Applicant must have the ability to use GIS for research as well as mapping.
          • Graphic design skills and knowledge of the Adobe Creative Suite is valued.

          Photo-Documentation Intern

          Responsibilities:

          The Department of City Planning is looking for an intern to take pictures highlighting Pittsburgh in all it greatness to be used in reports and presentations as well as on the web.  In addition, the person will identify and create a system for the pictures we currently have.  

          Requirements:

          • The applicant must have experience using a variety of photographic equipment.
          • They should have experience working on web pages.  
          • Preference will be given to applicants that have their own equipment.   

          Law Internships


          Division of Zoning and Development Review Legal Intern

          Responsibilities:

          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.


          ADA Law Intern

          Responsibilities:

          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,
          • Draft legal memos on issues regarding City and related governments’ activities.  

          Requirements:

          • Must be available to attend City of Pittsburgh/Alleghney County Task Force on Disabilities meetings on Mondays.  
          • A solid working knowledge of software programs such as Access and Excel
          • Must have excellent organizational skills.
          • Good legal research and writing skills.
          • The candidate should be comfortable with direct client contact and be able to work independently.

          Housing Policy Legal Intern

          Responsibilities:

          The Department of City Planning staffs the Affordable Housing Task Force.  They are charged with developing policies to promote affordable and accessible housing for the City of Pittsburgh.

          The intern will:

          • Help draft these policies in accordance with State and Federal law. 
          • Draft and review legislation and make recommendations regarding adherence to these policies.
          • They will draft legal memos on issues regarding City and related governments’ activities.  

          Requirements:

          • The candidate must be a law student or public policy/public administration graduate student with and interest in housing policy.
          • Candidate should have good legal research and writing skills.
          • The candidate should be able to work independently.

          Land Use Policy Legal Intern

          Responsibilities:

          The Land Use Policy Legal 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 ordinances that will aid in the revitalization of Pittsburgh's neighborhoods.

          This position will focus on an ongoing community planning process called the Uptown/West Oakland EcoInnovation District.  Candidates should familiarize themselves with the basics of the project by visiting www.ecoinnovationdistrict.org before applying.

          Requirements:

          • The candidate must be a law student. 
          • The candidate should have excellent communications skills. 
          • 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.

          Interested students should apply through the online site https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/pittsburgh/transferjobs.  If you are interested in any of these assignments, you must enter City Planning for the Department you wish to intern with.   

          Additional questions should be referred to Richard Meritzer @:

          Richard.meritzer@pittsburghpa.gov or 412-255-2102

           

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