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2024-2025 City/Regional/Urban Planning/Landscape Architecture Fellow

Are you looking for a once-in-a-lifetime, full-time, paid opportunity to make a POSITIVE IMPACT while building your career?

The Challenge Detroit Fellowship program is a yearlong opportunity for diverse, innovative, community-minded individuals to grow their careers, strengthen their leadership skills, build relationships, and gain experience in multiple areas of impact while contributing in Detroit’s vibrant communities through intellectual giving.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are a cornerstone of Challenge Detroit. We strive to create and support a culture where people can be themselves and feel included while including others. We value a diverse representation of individuals from near and far, across races and ethnicities, gender identity, orientation, skills, experience, and abilities. Diversity of thought and perspective are essential to our work.


  • Monday through Thursday, as a Fellow, you'll gain valuable career skills through employment at one of our partners looking for Urban Planners. Other Fellows will work at companies ranging in size and industry (visit our website for a list of host companies we have partnered with) in roles relevant to their skillsets and education.
  • On Fridays, you will work with your cohort and collaborate with local nonprofits on strategic, intellectually-based, community-focused challenge projects and participate in leadership development sessions designed to develop skills and are introduced to local leaders from various industries.
  • Throughout the whole year you will cultivate your network, build friendships, and enjoy our city and its neighborhoods!
  • Post-fellowship completion, some Fellows stay at their host companies and become “regular” employees, others go on to grad school, some pivot into different industries/sectors, and some start their own nonprofit or business ventures. What you do after you complete your year is up to you!

As a Challenge Detroit Fellow, you will:

  • develop valuable leadership and team-building skills through a multi-faceted leadership development program;
  • gain knowledge and experience in various areas of impact in an accelerated time frame;
  • grow your career at your host company and learn about different sectors and industries;
  • learn and leverage the art of design thinking and community development best practices;
  • collaborate with multiple Detroit-based nonprofits on strategic, intellectually-based, community-focused projects to support them in moving their missions forward;
  • acquire a better understanding of the city by learning about the history of Detroit and about various neighborhoods in the city;
  • cultivate meaningful relationships with your cohort and the broader Challenge Detroit community;
  • connect with and gain access to local leaders, thinkers and doers;
  • join the network of over 300 alumni Fellows who continue to engage and support the program as well as contribute in their communities; and
  • commit one year to the program—September 2024 through end of August 2025.


We are looking for candidates who:

  • represent a diverse range of race, ethnicity, gender identity, orientation, thought, experience, perspective and ability;
  • are forward-thinking, proactive, and have a growth mindset;
  • are authorized to work in the U.S. for the duration of the program.

Successful candidates have exhibited: 

  • outstanding inter and intra-personal communication skills;
  • exceptional ability to work in diverse, cross-functional teams;
  • genuine care and desire to support communities;
  • understanding of and/or desire to learn project and time management;
  • adaptability and flexibility;
  • dedication to producing quality work;
  • openness to learning from their cohort, nonprofit partners, and community stakeholders.

Education & Experience:

  • Must have a Bachelor's or Master’s in City/Regional/Urban Planning, Urban Design or Landscape Architecture by the start of the program in September 2024.

Preferred skills:

  • Strong organizational skills with the ability to multi-task
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Excellent written, verbal and graphic communication skills
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Outlook) and Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign)
  • Proficiency in GIS and Mapping tools
  • Basic skills in AutoCAD and/or Revit
  • Basic skills in Sketch-Up and other 3D and multi-media technologies

Responsibilities with Host Company:

  • Prepare planning documents, including master plans, diagrams, renderings, design standards and other planning studies
  • Prepare presentations geared toward clients, community stakeholders, and public agencies
  • Other duties as assigned.

Schedule Availability:

  • Monday-Thursday: Must be able to work at host company (typically 9am-5pm but may vary by host company)
  • Fridays 9am-5pm: Must be available for Challenge Detroit programming
  • Possible evenings/weekends for Challenge Detroit activities

Language: All programming is conducted in English. Must be able to read, communicate in, and comprehend written and spoken English. Candidates who can read and communicate in more than one language are welcome!

Physical Demands:

  • Ability to remain in a stationary position (sitting, standing) for extended periods of time. Fellows sit, stand, and sometimes walk for long periods during programming.
  • Ability to move self into different positions as needed to maneuver between, over, under, around, and/or beside furniture or other physical barriers.
  • Have the dexterity required for manipulating objects and standard office supplies and equipment. This position requires Fellows to utilize laptops to create deliverables, and occasionally write, sketch/draw.
  • Have the ability to receive and exchange accurate information in handwritten, typed, and spoken English. This role requires Fellows to participate in meetings in different formats, including but not limited to verbally asking questions and documenting responses (written or typed), as well as communicating (verbally; via email, telephone, text, and video) with multiple people throughout our projects and programming.
  • Have the ability to lift/maneuver up to 20 pounds occasionally.

Mental Demands: Must be able to learn new concepts, process and retain new information, maintain focus for long periods, problem solve, and handle multiple tasks that are intellectually demanding and challenging.

Work Conditions: Activities can occur in-person (indoors and outdoors) and virtually; must be able to work both independently and on a team.

Location & Travel: Must be in the City of Detroit or the Metro-Detroit area, and able to commute to various locations in the City of Detroit regularly. Able to travel to and from a variety of locations across the City and the greater Detroit area.

Technology: Have access to a laptop with wifi and video conferencing capabilities, and is compatible for use with Google products. Be willing to learn new collaborative tools. Have consistent access to internet service.


  • $43,000 annual salary
  • variable benefits typical of your host company employer


Submit a formal application by April 9, 2024, 12 Noon (ET) here to be considered.


For application tips & FAQs visit