The Community Planning Fellowship Program was created to improve the capacity of community boards to undertake planning activities and to develop the next generation of planners, instilling in them a first-hand appreciation of local government and planning issues from the perspective of community boards.
The Program provides selected second-year graduate students in urban planning, architecture, urban design, historic preservation and public policy the opportunity to work with local Community Boards on a specific project over the course of an academic year. Currently, outstanding candidates are chosen from five area schools with urban planning and related programs: Columbia University, Hunter College, New York University, The New School and Pratt Institute. Fellows are placed in offices based upon the skills they offer, the interests they have and the specific needs of each Community Board.
In the Community Board offices, fellows face real-world community planning issues as they work on zoning, transportation, retail development and other land use projects. They assist board members and staff in finding solutions to quality of life issues of importance to local neighborhoods.
Fellows bring with them skills in socio-economic analysis, database management and geographic information mapping that Community Board members and staff usually lack. Their interests vary from land use regulation to historic preservation to advocacy planning. In the course of their school year they concentrate on one or two projects of high priority to the Community Board.
Fellows work an average of 15 hours per week for a full academic year for an assigned Community Board. This includes a combination of time spent at the Community Board office, working on tasks associated with assigned planning projects, and attendance at community board and other community meetings relevant to assigned planning projects.
The Community Planning Fellowship program carries through both semesters of the academic year, and provides each fellow with a stipend of $3,000-- $1,500 per semester. Fellows are required to submit a work program, a draft report and a final report for each project at various times during the year. They are expected to maintain and submit a portfolio of their completed projects to the Community Board at the completion of the Fellowship year.