Privately Owned Public Spaces Program Assistant

Firm: NYC Department of City Planning
New York, NY

Payment: Paid
Start Date: Oct 1, 2017
Category: Urban Design
Contact: Stella Kim

Posted: Aug 30, 2017


The Department of City Planning (DCP) promotes strategic growth, transit-oriented development and sustainable communities to enhance quality of life in the City, in part by initiating comprehensive, consensus-based planning and zoning changes for individual neighborhoods and business districts, as well as establishing policies and zoning regulations applicable citywide. DCP also supports the City Planning Commission in its annual review of approximately 450 land use applications for actions such as zoning changes, special permits and a variety of other discretionary approvals. In addition, the Department assists both government agencies and the public by providing policy analysis and technical assistance relating to housing, transportation, community facilities, demography, zoning, urban design, waterfront areas and public open space
Under Housing New York: A Five-Borough, Ten Year Plan, the Department will lead coordinated, ground up neighborhood planning studies and advance regulatory changes—including mandatory inclusionary housing in newly rezoned areas—to promote more economically diverse communities and housing opportunities for New Yorkers at all income levels. Through inclusive community development initiatives with stakeholders, DCP will expand access to quality jobs and services, and stimulate economic development benefitting all New Yorkers. In addition, DCP is committed to expanding public access to land use, housing and population data and planning resources through its online Community Portal, as well as to support informed participation by New Yorkers in neighborhood planning and land use review processes.
The New York City Department of City Planning is a great place to work – cultivating intellectual inspiration, professional development and creativity. Visit our website at to access the full listing of job opportunities and to learn more about our great agency.


Manhattan is home to over 1.6 million residents and serves as the economic engine of the regional economy with well over 2 million workers commuting to and within the borough on a daily basis. The landscape of Manhattan is highly varied and ranges from very high-density office and residential districts to low-scale rowhouses, stretching the full 13.4 miles of the island. The borough includes the sources of some of the most iconic images of the global imagination – Times Square, Wall Street, Central Park, Harlem, the United Nations – as well as countless hidden gems around every corner. The Manhattan Borough Office, located in the Department of City Planning’s headquarters building in the heart of Manhattan’s Financial District, is responsible for developing borough-wide and local area plans, reviewing and processing ULURP and non-ULURP land use applications, and providing technical and policy guidance and direction on all land use and zoning related matters to the City Planning Commission, local Community Boards, elected officials and the public at large. The Manhattan Office emphasizes planning and urban design that create a more equitable city, with rich opportunities for and access to housing, employment, recreation, and transit. The approximately 25-person Office is comprised of professional planners working in teams arranged by community district as well as urban designers that work borough-wide across a wide range of projects.


The Manhattan Office is seeking a planner, landscape architect, or urban designer with exceptional organizational and technical skills, design sensibility, and a strong grasp of land use issues and public policy to serve as the Program Assistant for the agency’s Privately Owned Public Spaces (POPS) Program.
New York City is home to over 500 privately owned public spaces, which range from iconic public plazas to neighborhood pocket parks, indoor pedestrian spaces, and modest sidewalk widenings. These POPS provide critical public open space amenities in New York City’s highest density commercial and residential districts and are generally reviewed and approved by the Department of City Planning and monitored for ongoing compliance by the Department of Buildings. The role will be based in the Manhattan Office but will involve all POPS across NYC, including those located in high-density districts of Queens and Brooklyn.
The ideal candidate will possess strong attention to detail; technical skills and design sensibility; a deep understanding of land use and policy; web and database management experience; a strong interest in strategy and process improvements; a positive attitude toward public service; as well as a desire to contribute to an engaging work environment in a role that shapes the growth and development of the city.
Under supervision of the POPS Program Manager, with some latitude for independent judgment, the planner will serve as a Program Assistant for the Privately Owned Public Spaces Program. The Program Assistant will:
• Assist in review of all POPS land use applications, including technical review of application materials and drawings, ensuring compliance with technical aspects of the Zoning Resolution, design review in collaboration with division planners and designers, and incorporation of division and agency policy, best practices, and standards.
• Organize, maintain, and improve division POPS files, including project records, plans and drawings, and digital assets.
• Develop a deep and comprehensive knowledge of POPS zoning, regulations, history, processes, and agency technical practices.
• Provide guidance and data for informational and project inquiries on POPS.
• Review, analyze and make recommendations on applications and projects submitted to the Department subject to the City’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) and related processes, the City Environmental Quality Review (CEQR) and other administrative procedures, and coordinate their review by technical divisions of the department, other agencies, community boards, elected officials and the public.
• Regularly conduct site visits and field work in POPS citywide.
• Assist in identifying and strategizing policy and procedural opportunities to improve POPS standards and review process.
• Provide support with field documentation, web content, resources, reporting, and database management.
• Conduct internal meetings with division and agency staff as well as meetings with external applicants on individual projects and applications.
• Perform other related tasks and projects.


1. High school graduation or equivalent and three years of experience in community work or community centered activities in an area related to duties described above; or
2. Education and/or experience which is equivalent to "1" above.


• Strong urban and open space design and technical capabilities with extensive knowledge of physical design planning practices.
• Knowledge of streetscape and open space design standards and best practices, particularly in New York City and/or dense urban environments.
• Demonstrated ability to review detailed technical details in open space site plans.
• Experience drafting design guidelines or design regulations.
• Competence in free-hand sketches, computer-based drawings, 3D modeling programs, database and/or geographic information computer software.
• Demonstrated ability to self-manage, as well as superior project management skills, including the ability to complete tasks in a timely fashion with minimal supervision.
• Ability to organize and lead meetings effectively and inclusively.
• Strong research, analytical and organizational skills.
• Knowledge of New York City’s general urban design and land use issues, policies and needs.
• Ability to work effectively with other divisions, city agencies, community boards, elected officials and applicants.
• Demonstrated initiative, ability to work independently and communicate ideas effectively.


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