NYCEDC's blog

Meet NYCEDC's Urban Assembly Interns


viany and theo

Hi, our names are Viany Mejia and Theodore Perry.

We attend the Urban Assembly School for Global Commerce in East Harlem and have had the opportunity to intern with NYCEDC's Ports and Transportation department this summer. It's been a busy one!

As part of our internship at NYCEDC, we participated in the APA’s Youth In Planning Program. During the weeklong program, we worked on an urban planning project at La Marqueta, a NYCEDC asset located near our school. We learned about public spaces and how to help them operate at their full potential in a way that relates to economic development. It was a great way to understand what Max and Ryan, our urban planning mentors, do here everyday.

Theo’s Experience

At NYCEDC, my job is to geocode historic waterfront photos.

Geocoding is taking old photos and assigning them to a zip code or a BBL (Borough Block Lot), which is the exact placement of the home or office building.

The process goes like this: I take an old photo of, say, the Brooklyn Army Terminal. Then I find it on Google Maps and NYCEDC’s internal mapping system (GeoEDC), a site that allows me to see zip codes and BBLs. Lastly, I write down the BBL and take down the geographic coordinate information associated with the historic photo. It’s really fun and I’ve enjoyed the experience of learning about the city’s waterfront geography.


We even presented our work on La Marqueta to NYCEDC’s Asset Management Public Market team!

Overall, I’ve enjoyed the internship as it exposes me to what goes on in a workplace and how teams communicate with each other.

Viany’s Experience

As a summer intern, I have been lucky to be able to join in on meetings with the Ports and Transportation staff. I get to hear about the new ideas and initiatives happening at NYCEDC and across NYC.

One of these meetings included a discussion of reshoring within the United States. Reshoring is when a company brings the people and services that were previously outsourced back to the place of origin; in this case, we discussed the possibility of bringing manufacturing jobs back to New York.

As part of this conversation, I also learned about the positives (e.g. job creation, higher productivity, etc.) and negatives (e.g. costs, quality challenges to rebuilding capacity, etc.) of this technique.

Meetings often include a lot of data and research, which I think is important in trying to get something to actually happen. There was a lot of information that helped me understand why companies in the U.S. would want to consider reshoring as something they do long-term to better regulate businesses and grow jobs.

At the end of our internship, we hope to have learned a bit more about other future urban planning and economic development careers so that we can share them with our classmates next year!

If you are an organization that is interested in partnering with the Urban Assembly School for Global Commerce and/or providing internships to students, please visit the USGAC website




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