If your passion is public spaces and you would like to support placemaking with your writing, planning, or design skills, you are welcome to send us your resume and writing samples or portfolio to info@pps.org.

PPS is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We hire equally, regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, or Veteran status.


Project Reporter and Communications Associate

Are you an experienced writer with a passion for public space and advocacy? Project for Public Spaces (PPS) is seeking a talented individual to join our communications team and help us share the stories of our current and past project work with communities. Applicant should be a self-starter with the ability to consistently write engaging material that reflects PPS’s mission and vision.

Responsibilities of this position include:

  • Develop and write content highlighting PPS’s current and past project work in communities throughout the country. Produce copy for a variety of PPS materials and publications, including articles, blog posts, and marketing materials (in general, one 750–1,000-word piece per week).
  • Conduct interviews with PPS staff, clients, partners and experts to develop interesting captivating and concrete narratives that express the transformative impact of placemaking on a diverse set of issues, from health to sustainability to economic development.
  • Travel to project sites as necessary to interview key players and do live promotion and documentation of placemaking work.


  • At least 2-3 years of professional writing experience; Experience in journalism, marketing, and/or nonprofits preferred
  • Strong written communication skills; ability to structure and write clear, articulate, and persuasive content
  • Strong editing skills and attention to detail; openness to feedback
  • Proven ability to learn quickly, work independently, meet multiple deadlines, and perform under pressure
  • Familiarity with placemaking, public space, and related topics

To apply:

Please send cover letter and resume, along with 2-3 writing samples, to Annah MacKenzie (amackenzie@pps.org) before the application deadline of May 15, 2017.


Chief Operating Officer

Position Summary:

Project for Public Spaces (PPS) is seeking to recruit a Chief Operating Officer (COO), who will report to the President and Founder. Key responsibilities include day-to-day management of the organization as well as the accomplishment of broader strategic goals as described below.

PPS does not currently have a COO, though it has had one in the past.  PPS believes that with the completion of the updated strategic plan, the time is now right for a new COO to assume a broad leadership role.  There is a strong sense that a new COO can bring needed discipline and focus to the organization, which will help it attain its goals under the new strategic plan.  There is also a belief that a new COO can streamline and improve the effectiveness of PPS operations, including project prioritization, finance and accounting, communications and development.

A successful COO will potentially be in a position to assume a CEO position in the organization in the future, as current senior leadership will transition to new roles over the next 2-3 years.


In mid- 2016. PPS began working on an update to its strategic plan. The goal of the strategic plan is to continue to expand PPS’s role as the central player in the now rapidly growing, global Placemaking movement. The plan builds on our project work, which includes extensive technical assistance on a fee-for-service basis to local communities; programs in transportation, public markets, healthy places, and others (partly funded by foundations and donors); training and conferences; and ongoing advocacy of key Placemaking agendas that provide a framework for transformative community change. Through its new strategic plan, PPS seeks to expand its impact through strategic partnerships with national and international organizations and to more effectively support, cultivate and connect Placemaking organizations, practitioners, and allies – creating networks at city, state, national, and international levels.

The strategic plan is organized in a four-part framework:  Global Placemaking Partnerships (500x), Placemaking Networks (25x), Direct Impact Projects (5x), and Strengthening Office Organization (1x).  The numbers are meant to symbolize the anticipated breadth and reach of each strategy.

The new COO is expected to play a central leadership role in the implementation of the strategic plan.  Though an implementation plan is current under development by PPS staff in collaboration with its strategic plan advisor — likely to be completed by the time the new COO is hired — the new COO will have an opportunity to refine the plan as required, in consultation with current leadership.


Location.  The position will be based in New York City at the current PPS office located at 419 Lafayette Street.  Some travel will be required.

Key Relationships.

  • Reports to: Fred Kent, Founder and President.
  • Frequent interaction with Kathy Madden (Senior Vice President and Co-Founder) and Steve Davies (Co-Founder and Executive Vice President) as well as other members of the senior leadership team. Steve Davies currently oversees office operations and will provide significant support in transitioning these responsibilities to the new COO.
  • Staff project/program teams and team leaders, including teams working to advance different components of the strategic plan (550x/25x/5x/1x)
  • Finance and other operating functions.

Roles and objectives. 

  • The COO’s responsibilities will include oversight of the four main strategic areas (500x, 25x 5x, 1x). He or she will convene the leadership of these groups and provide direction for principal activities, including project prioritization and resource deployment.
  • The COO will be the bridge that connects the staff working in various major program areas within PPS. The COO will also help increase synergy among the various PPS programs and work to deploy PPS staff more effectively and efficiently.
  • The COO will oversee PPS operating functions and departments, including finance & accounting, development/fundraising, communications, human resources and facilities. The COO will work with all operating personnel to develop and reach annual goals and ensure cooperation among teams and departments.  The COO will be expected to identify and make significant operating improvements (e.g., financial analysis, personnel management and evaluation, human resources, etc.)
  • The COO will be responsible for setting annual programmatic goals as well as a budget that includes revenue and cost targets. Revenue management (service pricing, negotiation) will be a key area of improvement.
  • The COO will assist the President and Founder as follows:
    • Board discussions and presentations
    • Management of external relationships
    • Interface with key partnerships (e.g., Brookings Institution)

Critical competencies and attributes.

  • Aptitude for operating in a nonprofit environment:
    • Financial and operational management
    • Staff and stakeholder management
  • Mentally sharp – able to adapt experiences to new environments and challenges; strong, high-level analytical and conceptual thinker
  • A player/coach – someone who can get “in the trenches” and do detailed work but who can also develop and lead a team
  • Able to forge strong interpersonal relationships and interact with PPS colleagues, partners, and stakeholders in a way that inspires confidence
  • Collaborative – inclined to reach out and understand first, then take action
  • Enthusiastic and energetic

Ideal qualifications.

  • 15+ years of experience in nonprofit management; private sector or corporate backgrounds are also welcomed and will be considered
  • Relevant academic credentials preferred
  • Background or strong interest/passion for community-driven, placed-based strategies for urban planning and community revitalization
  • Demonstrated track record in leading and inspiring project or program based teams.
  • Excellent written, oral, and facilitative communication skills
  • Ability to manage or support a fundraising capability

A downloadable version of this description is available here.

Please submit cover letter and resume to:  Nicolas Shearman, Administration Associate, nshearman@pps.org.





Summer: Website Content Intern

Project for Public Spaces (PPS) is seeking a part-time intern to assist with creating and organizing our website content. The internship will begin in May and conclude in early August. A minimum of 14 hours (maximum 20) of work per week is expected for this position and applicants must be able to work in the PPS office in New York City. The deadline to apply is: May 12, 2017 5pm EST.

Primary responsibilities will include:

  • Helping the web design team migrate older content to the new website. This includes updating content categories, images, and some copyediting. Content ranges from PPS project experiences, placemaking resources, and blog posts to staff profiles.
  • Helping to design and create new website resource areas for placemakers. This task focuses on reorganizing/editing existing content.
  • Supporting key launch tasks of the website, including setting up redirects and quality control testing of migrated content, among other tasks.
  • Writing posts for our Great Public Spaces page and other content as needed.

Desired qualifications:

Candidates should be full-time undergraduate or graduate students pursuing a degree in urban studies, city planning, architecture, or related fields. Recent graduates are also eligible.

Ideal candidates would have:

  • Excellent communication, writing, and research skills (including copy editing)
  • Incredible attention to detail and organizational skills
  • To be a self-starter, capable of working independently as well as collaboratively
  • A working knowledge of Placemaking and a passion for exploring and developing thriving public spaces
  • Tech/design skills are a plus

Application process:

Please submit your application by filling out the internship applications form HERE.

The application form asks a series of questions, and the applicant must in addition upload a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and portfolio (if applicable). After the application deadline, we will respond to all successful and unsuccessful applicants within two weeks of the closing date. The deadline to apply is: May 12, 2017 5pm EST.

We appreciate your excitement, but please do not send us resumes via email – we will not accept them.


For general questions about our internships, refer to our Internship FAQ.