Now Hiring: Land Use and Development Intern

About Smart Growth America (SGA)

Smart Growth America is a national nonprofit organization that envisions a country where no matter where you live, or who you are, you can enjoy living in a place that is healthy, prosperous, and resilient. We empower communities through technical assistance, advocacy, and thought leadership to realize this vision of livable places, healthy people, and shared prosperity.

About the Land Use and Development Team

The Land Use and Development (LUD) team at Smart Growth America is focused on how land use, development, and real estate can advance SGA’s mission and vision for equitable, sustainable development. LUD’s topic areas include real estate development, planning, zoning, development finance, climate adaptation, and brownfields redevelopment. The LUD team also houses three programs, which convene leading smart growth practitioners – LOCUS, the Form-Based Codes Institute (FBCI), and the National Brownfields Coalition (NBC):

  • LOCUS is a coalition of responsible real estate developers and investors who advocate for smart growth policies at the federal level.
  • FBCI is a professional organization dedicated to advancing the understanding and use of form-based codes, which are a key tool for delivering walkable, mixed-use urban form.
  • NBC is a coalition of professionals who work in brownfields redevelopment, who share professional resources and advocate for brownfields policy.  

About the Position

The LUD Intern will be a member of Smart Growth America’s (SGA) Land Use & Development team, reporting to Toccarra Nicole Thomas, Director of Land Use & Development, and is expected to contribute to a collaborative team environment. Specific topics of work that the intern may be involved with may include, but are not limited to:

LUD Policy Research & Content Development

  • Support LUD Program Manager in the deployment of public events or outreach by attending events, drafting discussion guides, and other activities.
  • Support LUD Program Manager by drafting materials for LOCUS communications and social media.
  • Available as needed to support SGA-wide signature policy and research programs.
  • Support research for technical assistance in Massachusetts, focused on supporting communities to implement policies for equitable, transit-oriented development

Systems Management

  • Support utilization of CRM (Customer Relationship Management System) for outreach and tracking purposes.
  • Support development of a master form-based codes class template.
  • Support SGA-FBCI website audit.

SGA Form-Based Codes Institute

  • Support equitable zoning initiatives through desktop research and policy analysis.
  • Support outreach efforts.
  • Develop evolutionary timeline of form-based codes.
  • Support Director and Program Manager in deployment of form-based codes educational programs, including classes, Lunch & Learns, and the FBCI Form-Based Code Award program.

Knowledge and Skills

Individuals seeking to work with SGA in this position should strive to have the following skills:

  • Commitment to SGA’s mission, including diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Working knowledge of and passion for land use, development, environmental studies, and urban planning topics.
  • Strong research and writing skills Strong oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability to display data, research, and policy concepts in a clear and relevant manner.
  • Organized and able to fulfill tasks per instructions.
  • Strong proficiency in G-Suite and Microsoft Office suite of tools, or similar, for document preparation (memos, presentations, etc.).

SGA also strongly encourages interns to apply with the following skills:

  • Experience with policy analysis and literature reviews, as well as distilling academic analysis into more accessible language.
  • Strong website development skills.
  • Proficient in visual graphic design editors (i.e. Adobe Suite with a strong preference for InDesign or similar).

Educational Background

 Graduate students in Urban Planning, Real Estate Development, Public Policy, Sociology, or related disciplines are encouraged to apply. Key among intern applicants is an interest in land use and development.

Compensation, Schedule, and COVID-19 Protocols

The prospective intern will need to supply their own computer and access to wifi. The intern will also be expected to commit between 12 to 20 hours a week for a minimum of 12 weeks in fall 2022 (with potential for a spring/summer 2023 extension) for a total of 240 hours for the fall 2022 semester. The intern will be paid a semi-monthly stipend throughout their tenure in the program at the hourly rate of $22 for a total stipend not to exceed $5,280 for the fall 2022 semester. All interns are expected to be insured by their school’s or personal health and/or liability insurance, as this internship program does not provide health or liability insurance coverage for interns.

SGA is based in Washington, DC, and is operating on a hybrid work schedule. Beginning mid-September, staff will be working in the office three days a week (Tuesday-Thursday), while generally working remotely the rest of the week. We expect that work will remain hybrid into the long term, and the specifics of that hybrid environment are currently being determined.

Interns will be able to work 100 percent remotely or come into the office if they are based in the Washington, D.C. area. If an intern works in the office, they will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination and a booster.

To apply

Please send a resume and cover letter where you specifically address the below three questions to [email protected] with “LUD Intern” in the subject line. Applications will be accepted immediately on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

  • What interests you about working for Smart Growth America / the Land Use & Development team?
  • What key issue(s) in land use and development will have the biggest impact on Americans, particularly low-income Americans and people of color, and why?
  • How did you hear of this internship opportunity?

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Smart Growth America is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. SGA and the Land Use and Development team are committed to building a diverse staff and strongly encourage applications from candidates of color. Employment and promotional opportunities are based upon individual capabilities and qualifications without regard to race, color, religion, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation/preference, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status or any other protected characteristic as established under law.