We’re Hiring a Public Life Data Fellow

Gehl Institute is seeking a part-time Public Life Data Fellow.

We are launching a new fellowship program for civic technologists who value the role of public spaces in promoting social connection, health, and equity in cities. The Public Life Data Fellow will play a strategic advisory role in our ongoing work around the Public Life Data Protocol and advancing its adoption by urban leaders and organizations. Additionally, the Fellow will have the opportunity to develop their own independent project to explore new directions for making public life data more accessible, democratic, and usable.

The ideal candidate will be a self-motivated team member. They will possess expertise in technology-related issues — specifically in regards to data standards, digital platforms, open data portals, and their impact for cities. They will be passionate about public spaces and social justice, and will have some familiarity with urban design and planning principles. It is preferred, but not essential, for the candidate to reside in the New York metropolitan region. However, they must be based in the US.

Public Life Data Protocol

In 2017, Gehl Institute released the Public Life Data Protocol (PLDP): an open data standard that makes it easier for cities, practitioners, and community advocates to collect and share non-personally identifiable information on how people move through and spend time in public space. Our ongoing work related to the PLDP includes making this common language easier to adopt and use, particularly when analyzing the impact of design and policy changes within and between cities. Since its launch, the data standard has already catalyzed public and private-sector development on analog and digital tools, in turn shaping the ways that city agencies, nonprofits, and neighborhood advocates can understand and manage their public spaces.


Over nine months, between February 1st and September 30th, 2019, the Data Fellow will work an estimated 10 hours per week with a monthly stipend of $2,000. Their tasks will include:

  • Establishing a governance structure for the PLDP among our private-sector and municipal partners
  • Supporting the convening of a PLDP Advisory Committee to draft a Code of Ethics
  • Supporting the development of a design brief for our next We Count! Hackathon
  • Pursuing an independent project related to public life data and technology that aligns with the mission of Gehl Institute: to transform the way cities are shaped by making public life an intentional driver for design, policy, and governance. This final responsibility is relatively open-ended, but should result in a research report or open-source product. For inspiration, see the We Count! resources page.

How to Apply

Please submit your application materials to riley@gehlinstitute.org by Jan 10, 2019. The application should include:

  • Statement of interest (no longer than 2 pages), including a brief description of at least one potential self-driven project
  • CV
  • Two references
  • Five-page writing sample. This can take the form of a single article or paper, or several short articles combined into a single document. The tone of the writing may be journalistic, academic, or otherwise, as long as it demonstrates clear, concise writing abilities.


To ask a question, or to indicate your interest in applying to this position, please email riley@gehlinstitute.org