9910 City Planning Intern - 2020 Summer Internships

Recruitment #TEX-9910-102661


Appointment Type

Temporary Exempt (TEX).  TEX position is excluded by the Charter from the competitive civil service examination pursuant to San Francisco Charter Section 10.104 and shall serve at the discretion of the Appointing Officer.

Internship Period

Summer only internship. Internship will commence on June 1, 2020 and end on August 21, 2020.  Selected interns must be able to commit to the twelve-week session.  Upon completing the internship, there is no implied offer of extension.


The San Francisco Planning Department plays a central role in guiding the growth and development in our City. The Department works with other City agencies and the community to help achieve great planning for a great city.  

Our mission, under the direction of the Planning Commission, shapes the future of San Francisco and the region by: generating an extraordinary vision for the General Plan and in neighborhood plans; fostering exemplary design through planning controls; improving our surroundings through environmental analysis; preserving our unique heritage; encouraging a broad range of housing and a diverse job base; and enforcing the Planning Code.  

The Department serves a broad range of constituents, including the citizens of San Francisco, community organizations, elected and appointed policymakers, builders, architects, property owners, tenants, and advocacy groups. All rely on the City’s General Plan and the Planning Code to achieve the City’s development goals.  

This is an opportunity to intern in a dynamic, inter-disciplinary, and innovative department and share in our vision to make San Francisco the worlds’ most livable urban place – environmentally, economically, socially and culturally.   For more information about the San Francisco Planning Department, please visit www.sf-planning.org

Internship Description

The San Francisco Planning Department is currently looking for sixteen (16) bright and enthusiastic interns to work full time with staff on a variety of planning projects this summer (June 1, 2020 thru Aug. 21, 2020). This will be a rewarding and valuable experience for those interested in the planning field and desire introductory work experience or college credit. Interns will conduct research, collect and analyze data, and prepare draft documents for planning work related to affordable housing, historic preservation, cultural and archeological resources, environmental planning, transportation, urban design, code enforcement, and many more. 


1. San Francisco Citywide Cultural Resources Survey: Context and Theme Development (2 Positions)

The intern will use primary and secondary sources, including the Department’s existing documentation (historic context statements, surveys, and environmental evaluations) to create brief historic context statements on themes identified as part of the Citywide Survey. Examples of potential themes are: Social Halls; Panama-Pacific International Exposition; and Neighborhood development. The context statements will include identifying key people and/or events associated with the theme(s), determining relevant property types, and documenting common architectural styles associated with the theme(s). This information will aid staff in the evaluation of potentially significant sites related to these contexts and themes as a part of the Citywide Survey. Interns will work with staff to survey identified properties related to specific themes. The research and documentation included in these brief historic context statements will inform the development of a Citywide Historic Context Statement.

The ideal candidates must be able to demonstrate excellent research, writing, and analytical skills. Interns must have completed a master’s degree or be a current graduate student in Architectural History, Historic Preservation, Public History or a similarly related field.

2. San Francisco Citywide Cultural Resources Survey: Context Statement Evaluative Framework Analysis
The intern will examine the Department’s existing Historic Context Statements and other documentation in order to create a database of building typologies associated with each theme and/or context, architectural style(s), and methods of evaluation. The intern will create a master document containing all existing evaluative frameworks with cross-references to existing context statements and will make recommendations regarding development of additional evaluative frameworks to assist the Department with the Citywide Historic Context Statement and Survey.

The ideal candidate should be able to demonstrate excellent research, writing, and strong analytical skills as well as experience with data collection, entry, and analysis, and proficiency in Excel or similar. Intern must have completed a master’s degree or be a current graduate student in Architectural History, Historic Preservation, Public History or a similarly related field.

3. San Francisco Citywide Historic Resources Survey: Architectural Context Statement
The intern will use primary and secondary sources, including the Department’s previous documentation to create brief descriptions of the City’s predominate architectural styles and summarize their historical evolution, to identify architects associated with said styles, and to identify character-defining features for each style. Important components of the project include research about important/significant architects/developers working in predominant styles, an approximate era when these styles were popular, and neighborhoods where these styles are common. Working closely with staff, the intern will be responsible for cataloguing examples throughout the City of each style across various building typologies. This information will aid staff with the evaluation of potentially significant sites related to these styles and inform the work of the Citywide Historic Context Statement and Survey.

The ideal candidate must be able to demonstrate excellent research and writing skills. Knowledge of architectural styles specific to the Bay Area is preferred. Intern must have a master’s degree or is a current graduate student in Architecture, Architectural History, Historic Preservation, or related field.

4. San Francisco Citywide Historic Resources Survey: Architectural Biographies
The intern will use primary and secondary sources and Department-produced documents to create a database of the City’s 19th and 20th-century architects, engineers, builders and developers. Working closely with staff, the intern will be responsible for cataloguing information about each architect, engineer, builder and/or developer, their significant projects, associated architectural styles and years active. In addition to providing information to develop individual biographies, the intern will develop a mechanism to map project sites across the City by architect, builder, and/or developer. All this information will aid staff with the evaluation of properties that are potentially significant for their association with master architects, builders, and developers and will inform the work of the Citywide Survey.

The ideal candidate may be an undergraduate or graduate student in Architectural History, Historic Preservation, Public History or related field and must be able to demonstrate excellent research, writing, data management, and basic familiarity with GIS/ArcMap.

5. Cultural Resource Training Materials
The San Francisco Planning Department is developing training materials to promote archaeological awareness among project sponsors who have construction projects that could impact cultural resources. The intern will produce a short video to be hosted on the Department’s website that will inform viewers about the importance of archaeological resources in San Francisco, the legislation that protects these resources, how to identify common resources, and provide guidance on the actions to take following a discovery during excavation. In addition, the intern would design an easy-to navigate pamphlet to supplement the video. The intern would work closely with staff archaeologists and preservationists to develop a content script and learn about the various resources in the city. Intern tasks may include visiting active construction sites and archaeological excavations, coordinating with archaeological and/or preservation consultants, reviewing previous cultural resource reports, visiting curation facilities to capture artifact imagery, interviewing Native Americans, and as needed site visits for videography.

The ideal candidate would have strong communication skills, a passion for public education, videography and production experience (video and sound capturing and editing), as well as proficiency with the Adobe Design suite and Adobe Premiere. Archaeological or historic preservation experience is desired, but not required. Samples of short educational videos will be requested. Intern is not required to provide their own equipment. Planning Department has lavalier and shotgun microphones, DSLR cameras, camcorders, and iPads that will be available for use.

6. Transportation Review Modernization
The Planning Department’s Transportation Impact Analysis Guidelines identify how the department conducts transportation review. The intern will assist the Department in conducting transportation reviews that reflect recent trends and current topics of interest in transportation review: urban goods delivery and transportation network companies as it relates to vehicle miles traveled, among other topics. The intern will analyze existing data and research and collect additional research, as needed, including research on curb management (freight and passenger loading). This research will be used to inform updates to and background and guidance for the SF Travel Demand tool, a web-based tool referenced in the guidelines. The intern may also create templates to help streamline department staff’s review of transportation studies.

The ideal candidate would have bachelor’s degree in transportation or urban planning or transportation engineering and experience in data collection, analysis, and visualization (including Adobe Suite). Experience in ArcGIS, Python, JavaScript/HTML, Leaflet JavaScript Library is helpful but not required.

7. Update to Environmental Planning’s Graphics and Development of SOP Process Diagrams
The intern would help standardize the Environmental Planning division’s internal and external materials and update commonly used graphics to create a more cohesive and clearer look, which would make the Department and consultant-prepared materials more visually uniform, legible, and ensure that public disclosure requirements are met. In collaboration with our graphics team, the intern will update existing document and PowerPoint templates, maps, and miscellaneous documents within the Environmental Planning division so that all of department materials share the same updated graphic identity. The intern will also create graphical versions of Standard Operating Procedures (complete with flow charts and diagrams) to supplement the existing text-based Standard Operating Procedures in the Environmental Planning Division.

The ideal candidate would have graphic design experience with basic understanding of layout and typography; advanced knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite (especially Word and PowerPoint); basic familiarity with the Adobe Creative Suite such as InDesign, Illustrator and Adobe Acrobat; and basic familiarity with GIS/ArcMap.

8. Privately-Owned Public Open Space (POPOS) – Monitoring and Compliance
The intern will assist the Zoning & Compliance Division of the Planning Department on enforcement of Privately-Owned Public Open Space (POPOS). The three phases of this project for the Summer of 2020 will include Phase 1: collect data, perform analysis, and make determinations about existing non-compliant POPOS, Phase 2: research how other municipalities enforce and monitor public open space programs, and Phase 3: develop strategies for enforcement and monitoring.

The ideal candidate would have strong research, writing and communication skills, solid computer archival research skills, detail-oriented and good organizational skills, ability to work in a team environment, experience with data collection, entry, and analysis, proficiency in Excel, PowerPoint, InDesign, self-starter, motivated, and willingness to learn, interest in publicly accessible open spaces and their uses in an urban environment, interest in working outdoors. This position includes conducting field surveys outdoors at various times throughout the work day.

9. Co-Sharing – Emerging Trend or Here to Stay?
The intern will conduct research and analysis on co-sharing of existing spaces and reveal how other cities like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and London are defining and regulating this type of activity. The Planning Department regulates land use based on zoning districts. However, based upon recent complaints, people are offering up their spaces for incidental uses and activities other than for their original intended purposes or authorized uses. Often times, the primary uses are still there, and the incidental uses are simply occurring during the time/hours when there are limited activities associated with the primary uses. For example, a restaurant that primarily opens for dinner, may lease up their seating area for co-working office space during the day, or a warehouse may lease up their parking lot on the weekend for a wedding or an office party. People are also offering up their dining rooms in their apartments as meeting spaces for conferences. Without knowing why, where, when and how often this is happening, it is difficult for the enforcement team to ascertain the frequency and gravity of this likely Planning Code violation and how to properly enforce.

The ideal candidate should be an undergraduate in Urban Studies or related field, with an interest in land use, business and economic development. Strong research, communication, and writing skills are a must.

10. Update to Standards for Implementing Transportation Management Program
The intern will primarily work with the transportation planning staff to research best practices, conduct interviews with stakeholders, coordinate with other city agencies, and develop recommendations for updating standards of compliance with Section 163 of the Planning Code. Section 163 was developed and adopted to minimize transportation impacts of office employment and residential development in the downtown and South of Market areas. It requires large developments in those areas to maintain a transportation management program and employ project site-specific transportation brokerage services to shift away from single occupancy commuting and move toward more sustainable travel behaviors, like ridesharing, taking transit, biking, or working from home. While most of the requirements within this section are still very useful, there is a desire to update the standards to encourage more aggressive results that are in line with current citywide mode shift, sustainability, and safety goals.

The ideal candidate should have a keen interest in sustainable transportation and/or behavior change research, programming, and implementation, at least a bachelor’s degree in a field that emphasizes skill sets such as strong interpersonal skills, exploratory research, policy analysis, strong writing, communication, and research skills, and experience with stakeholder engagement (marketing, interviews, presentations, etc.).

11. Climate Resilience Initiative
The intern will help develop publicly accessible mapping and resource tools that help inform people and projects about a variety of climate hazards, such as sea level rise (SLR), coastal flooding (FEMA), inland stormwater flood scenarios, extreme heat, and biodiversity, as well as vulnerability of local assets (City-owned and others), changes in population and jobs over time, and new shoreline project elevation (e.g. Mission Rock, Pier 70, Crane Cove Park, India Basin, etc.). Help compile relevant and publicly-accessible data from multiple City, State, and Federal sources, as well as the City’s SLR Vulnerability and Consequences Assessment, into an interactive interface that also includes strategies and resources to enhance climate resilience at multiple scales. Considerations of important co-benefits like equity, biodiversity, and general sustainability, and coordinating with existing online City tools, will also be important.

The ideal candidate should possess understanding and experience with climate resilience (mitigation and adaptation), data management, digital mapping, and public interface systems essential. Background/degree in urban or environmental planning, urban design/landscape, or related field ideal is a must.


12. 2022 Housing Element
The intern would support the work of the Housing Policy Team of the Planning Department on the 2022 Housing Element. The Housing Element is a policy document that aims to meet the current housing needs and the future. The primary responsibilities include: (1) compiling housing and socio-economic data for the draft Housing Element; (2) compiling socio-economic data from the Census by neighborhoods, and (3) creating material for community outreach and for the draft Housing element, such as handouts, presentation boards, and graphics. Other responsibilities may involve (1) writing sections of the draft Housing Element; (2) supporting community outreach and engagement events; (3) performing policy research and analysis, and other related work.

The ideal candidate should have strong quantitative and qualitative skills relating to housing and socio-economic analysis, including experience with using Stata and developing data analysis commands in Stata for census data; experience using ESRI ArcGIS for spatial analysis; skills and experience in developing policy relating to housing protection, preservation, and production; knowledge of relevant local, State, and Federal housing laws and regulations; and the ability to work closely with a diverse range of community stakeholders, particularly with hard to reach populations. Candidates should at a minimum be pursuing a master’s degree in planning, public policy or related field; or a combination of education and/or training and/or experience which provides an equivalent background required to perform the work of this position. Experience in developing policy and excellent writing skills would be preferred.

13. Management Strategy for Open Space Pilot(s) in the Central SoMa Freeway Corridor
San Francisco’s South of Market (SoMa) district is a vibrant mixed-use neighborhood bisected by the elevated I-80 Freeway. To meet the identified need for more open space in Central SoMa to support additional local housing and address long standing environmental justice issues, the City is currently formulating a comprehensive freeway corridor transformation strategy. This strategy will generate concepts for open space on state-owned land under and next to the freeway, including one or more early-implementation pilot projects.

The SoMa freeway corridor presents significant opportunities for open space, as well as locational complexities because of the adjacent freeway, which may require higher levels of programming and maintenance. To help fund maintenance needs, recent state legislation (AB 857) allows limited on-site commercial uses to be integrated into freeway open space projects. The intern will help draft a sustainable management strategy for one or more open space pilots, working with staff from multiple City agencies to flesh out concepts and identify funding needs and sources.

The ideal candidate should have an interest in developing open space in challenging locations, be open to exploring partnerships with both nonprofits and commercial entities, and have graduate level coursework in Business, Public Administration, Nonprofit Management, or Real Estate Development.

14. Planning for Freight & Deliveries - Identifying Best Practices and Policy Options for Goods Movement in San Francisco
Production, Distribution and Repair (PDR) businesses contribute to San Francisco’s vitality by diversifying the economy, providing quality employment for the city’s residents, delivering critical goods and services to local residents and businesses, and creating innovative, global exports. Goods movement is critical to the core functions of Production, Distribution and Repair (PDR) businesses and is an important part of ConnectSF’s goal related to economic vitality. Especially in recent years, goods movement to and through San Francisco has become a growing challenge for local PDR businesses.

This internship will identify best practices for goods movement planning in dense urban areas and identify policy priorities for serving the needs of SF-based production and distribution businesses. It will comprise a literature review, primary and secondary research, interviews, and production of a final summary document. The findings will create the foundation for goods movement policies in the Transportation Element of the General Plan and will inform freight-related strategies in ConnectSF’s Streets and Freeways Study.

The ideal candidate should be in a master’s program or have master’s degree; have strong organizational, writing, time management, and research skills; and be a self-starter and demonstrate a willingness to learn. Must be able to work independently as well as collaborate with multiple stakeholders. Experience in transportation network analysis, urban street design, or goods movement policy or planning is desirable but not required.

15. Youth Engagement Strategy and Program
The intern will research other cities and practices to evaluate planning-related youth engagement work in those cities. The research will also include other youth-engagement tools that have been utilized and assessed for incorporation into the Planning Department’s work plan. Research tools could include interviews and phone calls with staff from other cities, internal department interviews, internet searches, and interviews with staff from other related programs that focus on youth engagement. The intern will develop a database of other cities’ programs and practices as well as an inventory of the Planning Department’s past youth engagement activities. The database of existing programs and practices will be evaluated for “fit” with the Planning Department’s goals and developed along with the Department’s existing inventory to guide the Department towards a final youth engagement strategy.

The ideal candidate should have experience with youth, previous research projects that required methods for evaluation, and interview experience. 


Minimum Qualifications

Requires completion of three years (equivalent to 90 semester units or 120 quarter units) of education from an accredited college or university leading to a Bachelor’s Degree in Planning, Architecture, Urban Studies, or a related field specific to the internship

How To Apply

Applications for City and County of San Francisco jobs are only accepted through an online process. Visit www.jobaps.com/sf to register an account (if you have not already done so) and begin the application process.

  • Select the desired job announcement
  • Select “Apply” and read and acknowledge the information
  • Select either “I am a New User” if you have not previously registered, or “I have Registered Previously”
  • Follow instructions on the screen

Computers are available for the public (from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday) to file online applications in the lobby of the Dept. of Human Resources at 1 South Van Ness Avenue, 4th Floor, San Francisco.

Applicants may be contacted by email about this announcement and, therefore, it is their responsibility to ensure that their registered email address is accurate and kept up-to-date.  Also, applicants must ensure that email from CCSF is not blocked on their computer by a spam filter.  To prevent blocking, applicants should set up their email to accept CCSF mail from the following addresses (@sfgov.org, @sfdpw.org, @sfport.com, @flysfo.com, @sfwater.org, @sfdph.org, @asianart.org, @sfmta.com, @sfpl.org, @dcyf.org, @first5sf.org, @famsf.org, @ccsf.edu).

Applicants will receive a confirmation email that their online application has been received in response to every announcement for which they file.  Applicants should retain this confirmation email for their records.  Failure to receive this email means that the online application was not submitted or received.

All work experience, education, training and other information substantiating how you meet the minimum qualifications must be included on your application by the filing deadline.  Information submitted after the filing deadline will not be considered in determining whether you meet the minimum qualifications.

Applications completed improperly may be cause for ineligibility, disqualification or may lead to lower scores.

If you have any questions regarding this recruitment or application process, please contact the HR analyst, Susan Chu, by telephone at 415-575-9149, or by email at Susan.Chu@sfgov.org.   

Selection Plan

Applications will be reviewed for qualifying experience and education.  Only those applicants deemed best qualified will be invited to participate in the selection process.  Meeting the minimum qualifications does not guarantee an interview.  Additional screening mechanisms may be implemented in the selection process.

Selection Procedures


Applicants may be required to submit verification of qualifying education and experience at any point during the recruitment and selection process. If education verification is required, information on how to verify education requirements, including verifying foreign education credits or degree equivalency, can be found at http://sfdhr.org/index.aspx?page=456

Note: Falsifying one’s education, training, or work experience or attempted deception on the application may result in disqualification for this and future job opportunities with the City and County of San Francisco.

Conviction History

As a selected candidate for a job, you will be fingerprinted, and your fingerprints will be sent to the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The resulting report of your conviction history (if any) will be used to determine whether the nature of your conviction (or arrest, in limited circumstances) conflicts with the specific duties and responsibilities of the job for which you are a selected candidate. If a conflict exists, you will be asked to present any evidence of rehabilitation that may mitigate the conflict, except when federal or state regulations bar employment in specific circumstances, such as:

  • Candidates for positions with the Unified School District and the Community College District may be disqualified from consideration should their conviction history not meet the standards established under the California Education Code.
  • Candidates for positions with the Recreation and Park Department may be disqualified from consideration should their conviction history not meet the standards established under California Public Resources Code 5164.

Having a conviction history does not automatically preclude you from a job with the City.

If you are a selected candidate, the hiring department will contact you to schedule a fingerprinting appointment.

Disaster Service Workers

All City and County of San Francisco employees are designated Disaster Service Workers through state and local law (California Government Code Section 3100-3109). Employment with the City requires the affirmation of a loyalty oath to this effect. Employees are required to complete all Disaster Service Worker-related training as assigned, and to return to work as ordered in the event of an emergency.


General Information concerning City and County of San Francisco Employment Policies and Procedures:
Important Employment Information for the City and County of San Francisco can be obtained at http://sfdhr.org/information-about-hiring-process or hard copy at 1 South Van Ness Avenue, 4th Floor.

Copies of Application Documents:
Applicants should keep copies of all documents submitted, as these will not be returned.

Right to Work:
All persons entering the City and County of San Francisco workforce are required to provide verification of authorization to work in the United States.

Reasonable Accommodation Requests:

Applicants with disabilities who meet the minimum eligibility requirements for this job announcement can find information on requesting a reasonable ADA Accommodation at: 

Information regarding requests for Veterans Preference can be found at: 


Micki  Callahan
Human Resources Director
Department of Human Resources
Recruitment ID Number: TEX-9910-102661

Issued:  December 19, 2019




All employees hired on or after January 10, 2009 will be required (pursuant to San Francisco Charter Section A8.432) to contribute 2% of pre-tax compensation to fund retiree healthcare. In addition, most employees are required to make a member contribution towards retirement, ranging from 7.5%-13.25% of compensation. For more information on these provisions, please contact the personnel office of the hiring agency.

For more information about benefits, please click here.


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