Deepakie Singh Sodhi
Community Planning Fellow • 2021
About the Community Planning Fellowship
The Community Planning Fellows Program places graduate students in urban planning with NYC community boards. This provides community boards with much-needed additional capacity, and offers students first-hand experience in community planning.
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.
Second-year graduate students (master’s degree) in urban planning, architecture, urban design, historic preservation, public policy and public health. Currently, outstanding candidates are chosen from seven area schools (but not limited to): Baruch College, City College, Columbia University, Hunter College, New York University, The New School, and Pratt Institute.
Fellows are expected to work both in-person and remotely. Fellows are placed primarily at appropriate participating community boards and, in certain instances, nonprofits working closely with community boards on timely projects and identified priorities. Fellows are also expected to meet collectively in-person twice a month for orientation, lectures and trainings (generally scheduled on Fridays) at the Fund for the City of New York.
The fellowship program carries through both semesters of the academic year (September-April) and fellows are expected to work an average of 12-15 hours per week. Each fellow receives a $5,000 stipend paid in two equal $2,500 installments disbursed in the fall and spring semesters.
FCNY liaises with Community Board offices and ensures that there are enough projects for all fellows. Fellows have the opportunity to review placement options and request a placement that aligns with their interests, and potentially with their capstone project or thesis.
Yes, if a fellow has an existing relationship with a Community Board, or would like to propose a project, they can share their idea with Fund staff. Suggestions should be made by August, to ensure timely placements.
Fellows largely work independently on their research projects, drawing on their expertise to guide solutions to Community Board needs.