DEPARTMENT OF CITY PLANNING

Department of City Planning Internships

Throughout the year, the Department of City Planning offers unpaid internships for-credit/for-experience for both graduate and undergraduate students.  These internships are designed to be part-time with flexible scheduling so students can balance them with classes or work, and the department can accommodate work study students. (NOTE: As the City adjusts to hybrid working arrangements, access to a remote workspace with reliable internet service is imperative).

Interested applicants must register for a City of Pittsburgh Careers account to apply for their desired position. You may be asked to provide your unofficial transcripts and writing samples. If you have work study or other funding, please indicate that in your cover letter. If you have additional questions, please contact shelly.dankoday@pittsburghpa.gov.


The Zoning and Development Review Division administers the City of Pittsburgh Zoning Code. Zoning regulations are intended to allow property owners reasonable use of their property as long as it’s not detrimental to the neighborhood or abutting properties. 

Interns help Zoning Division staff with:

  • Researching the legal use of properties
  • Researching best practices in zoning
  • Designing handouts and other materials
  • Assisting with administration of the Design Review program
  • Assisting 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

The Development Administration and Review Division reviews and approves all development projects and property usage in the City of Pittsburgh. The division staffs the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) and Planning Commission, both quasi-judicial bodies.

Zoning and Development Review Legal Intern Responsibilities:

  • Aid ZBA by preparing for and attending meetings 
  • Draft opinions 
  • Conduct legal and comparative legal research 
  • Draft text amendments  
  • Process zoning certificates 

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 Sustainability and Resilience Division develops internships around a variety of topics such as efficiency, renewable energy, zero waste, fleet electrification, natural environment and more.  

Sustainability and Resilience Intern Responsibilities: 

  • Research 
  • Community outreach 
  • Policy analysis 
  • Program development 
  • Measurement and evaluation 

Requirements: 

  • Can work with minimal supervision 
  • Good communication skills 
  • Graduate-level preferred 
  • 10+ hours per week 

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 an interest in promoting thriving, resilient, and empowered communities.  

This internship offers the opportunity for hands-on experiences in public engagement, program administration, communications, marketing, social media, and research. Applicants should have experience with social media and visual communications design (email, flyers, etc.) Ideal candidates will have strong writing skills, the ability to convey complex topics concisely, 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. 

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.   

Requirements: 

  • Graduate-level preferred (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.  

 

The Neighborhood Planning Intern will assist the Department of City Planning staff with various processes related to community engagement and neighborhood planning. Our internships offer the opportunity to research best practices on a variety of issues relating to neighborhood planning practices, and to develop programming and literature that will aid the department to better serve Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods.  

Requirements: We are looking for interns that have a background in urban studies/planning/design. The candidate should have solid writing skills, with abilities to convey complex topics concisely. 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. Interns are expected to work at least ten (10) hours a week. After setting up a work plan with realistic targets with a supervisor, the candidate should be comfortable working with minimal supervision. 

  • NEIGHBORHOOD PLANNING: BACKGROUND RESEARCH, JOURNALISM.  We are seeking an intern to spend time in City neighborhoods to interview 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, qualitative research capabilities. The intern 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, and a level of comfort with demographic and neighborhood-indicators data. The intern 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 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 studying for their master’s or bachelor’s in urban planning, housing studies, urban sociology, demography, or public policy.