Urban Studies Links

Job and Internship Opportunities

Guide to Paid Summer Internships in Urban Planning, Urban Design, and Transportation Planning

Paid internships for undergraduates in urban planning, urban design, and transportation planning are hit and miss, especially as underclassmen.  However, through resume building, networking, and developing your knowledge in theory and projects, there are a number of potential avenues to find summer jobs.  Paid internships can generally be found in three areas: consulting firms, large government agencies, and large environmental advocacy groups.  Below is a list of employers with offices in the Bay Area and beyond which often post internships for undergraduates between January and April.  Don’t forget to start your search early!

The following online databases are good places to look for organizations, government agencies, and companies that work on urban issues. Some include search functions specifically for internships, fellowships, and jobs.


Key: D=Design, P=Planning, T=Transportation



Calthorpe Associates (DP)

Cambridge Systematics (PT)

Fehr & Peers (PT)

HDR Inc. (PT)


Nelson\Nygaard (T)

Parsons Brinckerhoff (PT)

Perkins & Will (DP)

Skidmore Owings Merrill (DP)

URS Corp (PT)

Zimmer Gunsul Fransca (D)

Click HERE to see a list of the top 150 architecture and engineering firms.

Public Sector:

City & County of San Francisco (PT)

Metropolitan Transportation Commission (PT)

San Francisco County Transportation Authority (PT)

Advocacy Organizations:

Environmental Defense Fund (PT)

National Resources Defense Council (PT)

World Resource Institute (PT)

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Stanford Urban Studies Resources

CCSRE Public Policy Leadership Institute - Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity's two-week long residence-based seminar provides students with exposure to major public policy issues directly affecting ethnic and racial groups in the United States. Participants have an opportunity for intensive and focused study of policies at the state and national levels and have contact with several Bay Area and California state leaders. The Institute seeks to provide perspectives on what it takes to be a leader in a diverse society and to foster an intellectual and social community among the participants.

Spatial History Project  - The project brings together scholars working on projects at the intersection of geography and history using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in their research. While enthusiastic about GIS, which offers a common framework for this research, the Spatial History Project is gearing up to move beyond GIS, to create tools to harvest useful information from large heterogeneous datasets of maps, images, and texts, and create dynamic, interactive digital visualizations for analyzing and representing change over space and time.

Stanford-Berkeley CityGroup  - CityGroup provides a space in which researchers from a variety of fields can share their own work, collaborate on projects, and discuss critical shifts in urban studies. We welcome historians, geographers, planners, anthropologists, sociologists, architects, and anyone else with a strong interest in the social, cultural, material, and political dimensions of cities and urban space.

Sustainable Built Environment  - Nearly 60 people attended the Woods Institute's Sustainable Built Environment Town Hall on Oct. 5, 2007, in Menlo Park. Led by Stanford professors Ray Levitt and Doug McAdam, the meeting focused on innovative ways of creating a built environment that is both sustainable and livable.

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Research and Reference

HUD USER - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s primary source for federal government reports and information on housing policy and programs, economic development, urban planning, and related topics.

Maps of U.S. and World Cities - From the University of Texas library.  If you can’t find it here, they have an excellent set of links to other map sites.

Social Explorer - Provides easy access to current and historic census data, through interactive maps as well as tabular reports.

Urban Studies Topic Guide – An excellent starting place for research in Urban Studies at Stanford.  Includes sources available online and in Stanford libraries.

(The) Urban Portal- a one-stop resource for scholars and others interested in urban social science, broadly defined.

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Opinion, News, and Information

Archinect - A one-stop trip for those interested in architecture and urban design. Search here for architectural/design books and read up on current happenings. Also provides index of more architectural links on topics including grad schools, art supplies, job openings, and competitions.

Cyberhood - The creators of Cyberhood aim to make it a place where students, scholars, practitioners, and activists from across the racial and class divide can find one another and build meaningful relationships. They believe the building of such connections will strengthen the struggle to understand and transform inner cities and the metropolitan regions of which they are a part.

Cyburbia - Internet Resources for the Built Environment - The Planning and Architecture Internet Resource Center contains a comprehensive directory of Internet resources relevant to planning, architecture, urbanism and other topics related to the built environment. Cyburbia also contains information about architecture and planning, related mailing lists, and Usenet newsgroups, and hosts several interactive message areas.

Next American City - Self-described as "a national quarterly magazine about making cities better. We observe, document and conceive realistic solutions about how to improve cities."  Exists both in print and online. Published by a 501(c) (3) non-profit.

Planetizen  - A public interest information exchange providing news, commentary, job listings, and more in the field of urban planning.

Planners Web - A journal for “citizen planners”—non-professional planners who sit on local zoning and planning boards.

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Local (Bay Area) Organizations

Association of Bay Area Governments – The regional planning agency for the Bay Area.

SPUR: San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association – A San Francisco public policy think-tank whose mission is “to promote good planning and good government.”

The Forum at Redwood City: A Continuing Conversation on City Design – The Forum brings nationally-known speakers and presenters to Downtown Redwood City for in-depth dialogues on city design issues, such as street design, form-based codes, affordable housing, transit, and parking management.

Urban Ecology – San Francisco organization dedicated to using planning, design, and policy to create sustainable and fair neighborhoods.

Urban Habitat – Oakland organization dedicated to empowering low-income communities through research, advocacy, and coalition building.

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National Organizations

American Planning Association– The leading nonprofit public interest and research organization committed to urban, suburban, regional, and rural planning.

American Society of Landscape Architects - The official site for the professional organization of landscape architects.

Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning - ACSP is a consortium of university-based programs offering credentials in urban and regional planning.

Congress for New Urbanism - Site espouses the ideals of New Urbanism. Read here for historic background, news, events, competitions, forums and task forces.

National League of Cities – Advocates for cities and towns through lobbying, media relations and grassroots campaigns.

Project for Public Spaces – A non-profit dedicated to promoting community-building public spaces.

Urban Affairs Association - The international professional organization for urban scholars, researchers, and public service providers.

Urban Institute – An economic and social policy research organization.

Urban Land Institute - The Urban Land Institute provides leadership in the responsible use of land to enhance the total environment. Issues include finance, housing, transportation, and urban revitalization.

Urban League – A national organization advocating civil rights and economic empowerment for African Americans.

U.S. Conference of Mayors - The official nonpartisan association of U.S. cities with a population of 30,000 or more.

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International Organizations

United Nations HABITAT – The U.N.’s Human Settlements Programme.  Mission is to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities, with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all.

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