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 applicants should first register for a City of Pittsburgh Careers account, then apply for the desired position.
There are a number of internships that are introductory in nature and on-going. We fill these positions regularly.
Zoning Counter Intern
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 Zoning Division staff with:
- 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
Ideal Candidate will have:
- Inquiring mind
- Enthusiasm for self-starting
- Writing and Organizational skills
- Proficiency in Microsoft Office
- Experience in Adobe Suite
Division of Zoning and Development 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.
- 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:
- Brief, unedited writing sample
- Unofficial law school transcript
Sustainability And Resilience Intern
The Division of Sustainability and Resilience is seeking interns with skills in research, community outreach, policy analysis, program development, and measurement and evaluation. Internship scan be developed around a variety of topics, including but not limited to: efficiency, renewable energy, zero waste, fleet electrification, natural environment, etc.
Requirements: An ideal candidate must be able to work with minimal supervision and display good communications skills. Graduate-level preferred, 10+ hours per week.
Food Policy Intern
The Division of Sustainability and Resilience 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.
- Currently enrolled in a graduate program (exceptional under-grads will be considered)
- An understanding of, and interest in, food policy, including food access, local and regional food systems, and environmental sustainability
- Excellent research, writing and verbal communications skills
- Ability to handle multiple tasks and requests in a timely manner
- Interest in using outreach, communications and social media to advance the office’s food policy mission.
- Successful candidates will possess the requisite discipline, organization, and self-motivation to work independently.
Community Engagement Intern
The Office of Community Affairs seeks an intern with an interest in local government and community engagement. No specific academic background is required to apply. The intern should have strong interpersonal communication skills and want to learn more about promoting thriving, resilient, and empowered communities. The Community Affairs Intern will assist with various programs, services, and processes that directly engage with the residents of the City of Pittsburgh. This internship offers the opportunity for hands-on experiences in public engagement, program administration, communications, marketing, social media, and research. Applicants should have comfort with social media and visual communications design (email, flyers, etc.) Ideal candidate will have strong writing skills, the ability to convey complex topics in a clear and concise way, social media proficiency (Twitter, Facebook, NextDoor), good attention to detail, effective communication and ability to multi-task and flexibility to quickly move from one project to another.
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 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
- 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 experience working with community groups.
Neighborhood Planning Intern
We are looking for a couple interns that have 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.
This internship offers the opportunity to research best practices on a variety of issues relating to neighborhood planning practices in order to develop programming and literature that will aid the department in better serving Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods. Additionally, interns will be able to foster a variety of interpersonal skills such as developing visual communications (email, mailings, flyers, etc.) and verbal communication with residents and groups at neighborhood meetings.
Requirements: All candidates must submit a cover letter and resume. Work samples are not required but are encouraged where specific skills are desired. 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 writing policy briefs or InDesign products should submit work samples. This position requires attention to detail and effective communication. The candidate should be comfortable working with minimal supervision — setting up a work-plan with realistic targets, and the supervisor will assist with this.
Potential Neighborhood Planning Internships for Spring 2019:
- NEIGHBORHOOD PLANNING: BACKGROUND RESEARCH, JOURNALISM. We are seeking an intern to spend time in the Hilltop neighborhoods and around the City interviewing stakeholders and residents on various topics of relevance to the development of Neighborhood Plans and general neighborhood happenings. The intern will also spend time in the pre-planning process and collecting/analyzing neighborhood data, old plans and existing reports/assessments. Desired skills include: journalism, urban studies, writing, interviewing, Adobe InDesign, qualitative research capabilities. The intern is expected to work at least 10 hours per week and should be studying for their master’s or bachelor’s (junior or senior preferred) in urban planning, anthropology, journalism, urban sociology, public policy, or English.
- NEIGHBORHOOD PLANNING: DATA ANALYSIS, INDESIGN. We are seeking an intern to assist in the creation of a neighborhood plan. This intern should have strong writing skills, document layout in InDesign, and a level of comfort with demographic and neighborhood-indicators data. The intern is expected to work at least 10 hours per week and should be studying for their master’s or bachelor’s (junior or senior preferred) in urban planning, data analytics, urban sociology, demography, or public policy.
- NEIGHBORHOOD PLANNING: INFRASTRUCTURE, COMMUNICATIONS. We are seeking an intern to assist DCP staff with various processes related to infrastructure assessment and neighborhood planning. This internship offer the opportunity to research best practices on a variety of issues relating to neighborhood planning practices in order to develop programming and literature that will aid the department in better serving Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods. The intern is expected to work at least 10 hours per week and should be studying for their master’s or bachelor’s in urban studies, urban planning, or urban design.
- NEIGHBORHOOD PLANNING: HOUSING, RESEARCH. We are seeking an intern to do research in trends in housing, specifically affordable housing and inclusionary zoning practices. The intern should have strong writing and research skills, be well-versed in news and best practices surrounding issues related to development and housing, and be a concise communicator. The intern is expected to work at least 10 hours per week and should be studying for their master’s or bachelor’s in urban planning, housing studies, urban sociology, demography, or public policy.
- NEIGHBORHOOD PLANNING: COMPREHENSIVE PLANNING, COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT. We are seeking an intern to develop strategies for public engagement and community organizing as it relates to the City’s comprehensive planning work. The intern will do background research and develop toolkits for various public engagement activities. The intern should have experience in leadership positions, know how to or have a desire to learn how to use InDesign to create professional products, and be interested in communicating complex ideas in innovative ways. The intern is expected to work at least 10 hours per week and should be studying for their master’s or bachelor’s (junior or senior preferred) in urban planning, public policy, community organizing, or political science.
Note: All internships with the Department of City Planning are unpaid; however, we can accommodate work study students. If you have work study or other funding, please indicate so in your cover letter.
Interested students should apply through the online site https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/pittsburgh. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.