The Municipal Art Society, founded 1893, is New York’s leading organization dedicated to creating a more livable city.

Our staff includes planners, design experts, historians, civic leaders, community builders and advocates who love New York City. We hope you or someone you know can join us in our work!

The Municipal Art Society of New York is an equal opportunity employer. People of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Intern, Planning and Preservation - Summer 2018

Join MAS this summer and help us educate and inspire New Yorkers to engage in the betterment of our city

For nearly 125 years, The Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS) has worked to educate and inspire New Yorkers to engage in the betterment of our city. As one of the city’s longest-standing non-profit advocacy organizations, MAS mobilizes diverse allies to focus on issues that affect our city from sidewalk to skyline. Through three core campaign areas, MAS protects New York’s legacy spaces, encourages thoughtful planning and urban design, and fosters complete neighborhoods across the five boroughs.

Much of our work examines the built environment from a variety of angles. Our recent Accidental Skyline report, released in October, analyzes the development of “supertall” buildings along with their impacts on surrounding neighborhoods and the zoning procedures used to construct them. MAS regularly evaluates the equity and environmental impacts of neighborhood-scale rezoning plans, most recently those in East New York, East Harlem, Inwood, Downtown Far Rockaway, and Jerome Avenue. MAS also advocates for Privately Owned Public Space (POPS) and sponsors the most comprehensive online resource dedicated to POPS. Through educational workshops, resources and community visioning support, MAS manages the Livable Neighborhoods Program (LNP), which helps communities build capacity to understand and influence land-use planning and become stronger advocates for their neighborhoods.

Internship Description

Interns will support MAS staff on long and short-term projects and day-to-day work including, but not limited to researching, drafting, and presenting advocacy positions and testimony; contributing to studies, reports, presentations and mapping projects; and developing educational resources and tools. Interns may also be invited to attend and assist with logistics associated with meetings and events, both during and outside of regular office hours, including: public hearings, community meetings, and public programs organized by MAS and/or partner organizations and agencies.


Applicants must be currently enrolled in a master’s degree program focusing on city and regional planning, historic preservation, public policy, urban design, architecture, landscape architecture, transportation planning, economic development, real estate development, economics or a related field. A limited number of paid internships are available and unpaid positions will be considered for candidates eligible for either course credit or a stipend through their educational institution. Paid interns should plan to have up to 40 hours per week available for 12 to 15 weeks of work. During the months of June, July, and August, our office will be closed every other Friday.

Required Skills

  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to conduct in-depth research on existing and proposed development, relevant city and state legislation, and policy initiatives.
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively, and to successfully manage multiple projects.
  • Demonstrable experience with Microsoft Office.
  • Knowledge of New York City’s zoning, land-use, and environmental review processes (ULURP and CEQR), and current urban policy issues.
  • Experience speaking publicly and making effective presentations.

Preferred Skills

  • Experience and interest in transportation planning, real estate and economic development, and affordable housing.
  • Experience with mapping and GIS analysis: ArcGIS, ArcScene, and Carto online (formerly CartoDB).
  • Familiarity with programming languages for data analysis, mapping and online applications: sql, python and html.
  • Experience with specialized design software including Adobe Creative Suite and SketchUp.

Application Instructions

The application deadline is April 2, 2018.

To apply, please email a resume, cover letter and work sample (such as a writing sample, excerpt of a research paper, or portfolio, 10 pages/5 MB maximum) to, with the subject line “Intern, Planning and Preservation – Summer 2018”. No phone calls please.

The Municipal Art Society of New York is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Full Description

The Ralph C. Menapace Fellowship in Urban Land Use Law

An opportunity for recent law school graduates to acquire first-hand experience in the legislative process, litigation, and advocacy

Applications Due: May 1, 2018

New York City has been both the laboratory and battleground for innovations in land use regulation, including urban environmental controls, zoning, open space, and historic preservation. Legislation drafted or refined through litigation in New York has provided the model for land use laws throughout the country.

The Ralph C. Menapace Fellowship, sponsored by the Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS), gives recent law school graduates an opportunity to acquire first-hand experience in the legislative process, litigation, and advocacy before New York’s regulatory bodies. It provides the intensive learning experience of a judicial clerkship with a greater opportunity for independent, creative work in finding solutions to new and persistent problems in urban life.


The Menapace Fellow will work under the guidance of MAS’s General Counsel and our Law Committee, which comprises distinguished attorneys with expertise in preservation, zoning, land use and government. The Fellow will be involved in legislative work, litigation, and the preparation and delivery of testimony in proceedings before state and federal administrative bodies, as well as the City Planning Commission, Landmarks Preservation Commission, Board of Standards & Appeals, and the City Council. The Fellow will also serve as in-house counsel, assisting in corporate and non-profit law matters for the MAS.

The Fellow’s term, to commence in summer 2018, will run for a mandatory two-year period. The Fellowship is a salaried position, commensurate with a judicial clerkship, and standard MAS benefits. The Fellow will work with staff in the MAS office at 488 Madison Avenue in Manhattan. Interested candidates should submit a cover letter indicating the basis of their interest, a resume, legal writing sample (no longer than ten pages), and transcript by May 1, 2018 to Robert Libbey, Municipal Art Society at, or 488 Madison Avenue, 1900, New York, New York, 10022.


MAS is a 125-year-old civic organization (MAS) that works to educate and inspire New Yorkers to engage in the betterment of our city. As a non-profit advocacy organization, MAS mobilizes diverse allies to focus on issues that affect our city from sidewalk to skyline. MAS protects New York’s legacy spaces, encourages thoughtful planning and urban design, and fosters complete neighborhoods across the five boroughs devoted to improving the physical environment of New York City.

Our advocacy efforts over the years have led to the creation of the nation’s first zoning ordinance, early air and noise quality controls, the first billboard legislation, New York’s first tree-planting program, and the establishment of New York City’s Planning Commission, Public Design Commission, and Landmarks Preservation Commission. MAS played a key role in the legal action that saved Grand Central Terminal and the resulting United States Supreme Court decision affirming the New York City’s Landmarks Law. MAS also was a key player in the successful court battles over Saint Bartholomew’s Church and Columbus Circle — the latter would have resulted in the largest building ever built in midtown Manhattan at the time — as well as a leader in New York’s response to 9/11, spearheading the Tribute in Light and Imagine New York.

More recently, MAS released the Accidental Skyline initiative, focusing on policy recommendations to close loopholes in the City’s Zoning Resolution and correct flaws in the public review process. In addition, MAS has been successful in advocating for legislation that improved the Board of Standards & Appeals variance process and regulations governing Privately Owned Public Spaces (POPS). It is currently advocating to protect the Garment District and City parkland from the imposition of development rights currently unavailable in the Zoning Resolution.

The 2018-20 Menapace Fellow will be engaged in policy development and advocacy for current urban land use issues confronting New York City. Specific issues might include housing equity, the impacts of climate change on the densifying city, regulations to safeguard and promote small business, and the protection of light and air in the public realm to ensure a healthier and more livable city.


The Fellowship is named in honor of Ralph C. Menapace, Jr., a distinguished lawyer and active civic leader who died in 1984. Mr. Menapace, a graduate of Yale Law School and a partner in the firm of Cahill Gordon & Reindel, championed the preservation of landmarks, the protection and enhancement of parks, and the creation of more sensitive zoning tools to guide new development. He was an invaluable resource for community groups, government agencies, and civic organizations.

Full Description

Help us advocate for the betterment of New York City as we have for 125 years.

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