Intern, Planning and Preservation – Spring 2020

Organization: Municipal Art Society of New York

Posted: December 2, 2019 | Closing: December 16, 2019

Job Description

For more than 125 years, The Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS) has worked to educate and inspire New Yorkers to engage in the betterment of our city. As a non-profit advocacy organization, MAS mobilizes diverse allies to focus on issues that affect our city from sidewalk to skyline. Through three core campaign areas, MAS protects New York’s legacy spaces, encourages thoughtful planning and urban design, and fosters inclusive neighborhoods across the five boroughs.

Our work focuses on the built environment from a variety of angles. Our recent report, Bright Ideas, part of our ongoing Fight For Light initiative, provides an inventory of planning and policy solutions for protecting access to sunlight in the public realm. Our 2018 report, A Tale of Two Rezonings, examined the Long Island City and Downtown Brooklyn neighborhood rezonings from an environmental planning perspective. Our ongoing Accidental Skyline initiative looks at the proliferation of “supertall” buildings, their impacts on surrounding neighborhoods, and the zoning mechanisms developers use to build them. MAS evaluates neighborhood rezonings – most recently those in the Bushwick, and Gowanus neighborhoods of Brooklyn – through the lens of equitable and sound planning. A number of city neighborhood rezonings and large-scale rezoning projects are either underway or are anticipated to begin very soon.

In addition, MAS advocates for Privately Owned Public Space (POPS) and sponsors the most comprehensive online resource dedicated to POPS. MAS also manages the Livable Neighborhoods Program (LNP), which helps communities better understand and influence land-use planning and become stronger advocates for their neighborhoods. MAS has continued its leadership in historic preservation by creating interactive web maps that show the location and types of permits granted by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

We are currently working on the review and reform of the City Environmental Quality Review (CEQR) process and assessment methodologies. Together with our coalition partners, we are developing recommendations to strengthen CEQR and make it a more accurate and reliable process for assessing environmental impacts and changes in our neighborhoods.

Interns will support MAS planning and preservation staff on long- and short-term projects and day-to-day work including, but not limited to:

  • researching, drafting, and presenting advocacy positions and testimony;
  • contributing to studies, reports, presentations, and mapping projects; and
  • developing educational resources and tools.

Interns can expect to assist with meetings and events organized by MAS and/or partner organizations both during and outside of regular office hours. Interns can expect to gain experience in presenting to a variety of audiences at public hearings, including community board members, City agencies, and elected officials. The internship will provide opportunities for skill development and new applications for mapping, research, analysis, and advocacy.


Applicants must be currently enrolled in a master’s degree program focusing on city and regional planning, community development, urban studies, historic preservation, public policy, urban design, economic development, real estate development, economics, or a related field. A limited number of paid internships are available. Unpaid positions will be considered for candidates eligible for either course credit or a stipend through their educational institution. Paid interns should plan to work 16 hours per week, available for the duration of the spring 2020 semester.


  • Strong written and verbal communication skills, including experience speaking publicly and making effective presentations.
  • Ability to conduct in-depth research on existing and proposed development, relevant City and State legislation, and policy initiatives.
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively, and to successfully manage multiple projects.
  • Strong urban data analysis skills.
  • Knowledge of current urban policy issues, especially New York City’s zoning, land-use, and environmental review processes (ULURP and CEQR).


  • Experience and interest in one or more of the following areas: community-based planning, environmental review, open space planning, sustainability and resiliency, architecture and urban design, historic preservation, real estate and economic development, and affordable housing.
  • Experience with mapping and GIS analysis: ArcGIS and Carto.
  • Familiarity with programming languages for data analysis, mapping and online applications: SQL, Python, and HTML.
  • Experience with specialized design software including Adobe Creative Suite and SketchUp.
  • Facilitation of small groups, supporting community visioning or charrettes.


How to Apply

To apply, please email a resume, cover letter and work sample that demonstrates relevant skills (such as a writing sample, excerpt of a research paper, or portfolio, 10 pages/5 MB maximum) to, with the subject line “Intern, Planning and Preservation – Spring 2020”. No phone calls please.

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