Career Opportunities

Public Realm Research Associate

Posted: Thursday, December 17, 2020

Scope of Work: The Public Realm Research Associate will work closely with the American Society of Landscape Architects, New York Chapter (ASLA-NY), the Fine Arts Federation of New York (FAF), and the NYC Public Design Commission (PDC) (collectively, the project team), on the Designing New York: Streetscapes for Wellness  initiative to collect research and case studies related to the future of streetscapes and the public realm, with a particular emphasis on new technologies, security, equity, and wellness in a post-pandemic world. 


Streetscapes make up more than a quarter of the land area within New York City, and they have proven to be a critical player in the wellbeing and quality of life of the neighborhoods they inhabit and connect. At a moment when the public realm is being significantly altered to address issues of public health and security, social, racial, and climate justice, this initiative will culminate in a publication that will serve as both a point of reference and a source of inspiration and guidance to creating and advocating on behalf of quality public design. 


This publication will provide guiding principles for the quality design of public streetscapes and adjacent open spaces by synthesizing extensive research and case studies into a user-friendly publication that will be distributed to design professionals and community groups nationwide, including city and state agencies, design and community organizations, architecture schools, architects, developers, and government representatives. Our aim is that the guide will inspire better codes, policies, and design guidance for creating a better public realm, first in New York, and then scaled and interpreted to cities around the world. 


In parallel with creating the printed book, there may be opportunities to assist with public-facing presentations, the formation of a geodatabase of case studies, and the creation of pamphlets for community design outreach. 


Key Responsibilities:

  • Coordinate with the project team, other relevant NYC agencies to organize research conducted to date.
  • Conduct self-guided research to gather case studies and precedents, which may include permanent and temporary streetscape projects and interventions, as well as non-built design proposals, and collect and organize relevant data on these projects for inclusion in the Designing New York publication and/or project database.
  • Coordinate closely with the project team to analyze collected data and case studies and to organize the findings for publication.
  • Follow-up directly with design and/or development teams who have expressed interest in providing work samples, photographs, and reference materials.
  • Verify the collected data by locating and consulting external resources and contacting the relevant contributing design and/or development teams to obtain any missing information, check for discrepancies, and confirm accuracy.
  • Submit all edits, additional case studies, and research to the project team for review, comments and revision, and final sign-off.
  • Assist with developing content, text, and diagrams for the publication.
  • Assist with initiative-related outreach and general project-related tasks, as required.



  • A graduate degree (or working toward a degree) in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, planning, urban studies, or related field
  • Demonstrated proficiency in research and data management, as evidenced by the completion of a similar substantial research project in a related field
  • Active interest in urban design, streetscapes, and the public realm
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication and writing skills
  • Flexibility and the ability to work independently as well as collaboratively with a variety of public and private sector project stakeholders
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite, Excel, and working knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite 


Term: Part time (not to exceed 14 hours/week) for 4 months with the option to extend


Payment: $18/hour, paid as a freelance consultant by ASLA-NY, one of the project team members. Please note that this is not a government employment position and further that this research will be conducted with no expectation or entitlement to a paid job with any of the project team members at the conclusion of this research. 


Work Location: The Research Associate will work within their own office/home and will check-in with member(s) of the project team virtually once per week and with the project team and collaborating agencies monthly. 


Supplies: The Research Associate will provide all of their own office supplies and equipment (computer, phone, Internet, etc.) for this position.

Applications due by January 8, 2021.

To apply: Please submit a cover letter, resume, and up to 3 relevant work samples, including a completed research project and a writing sample, to by Friday, January 8, 2021. Please limit the total size of attachments to 5 MB max.




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