“This experience really helped me to understand the importance and impact of planning, get past my reservations of the unknown and know that as front line soldiers we are not alone and share the same vision; a better city and future for all.”—Cassandra Green, Manager of Community Outreach & Partnerships, People's Emergency Center, Citizen Planner since 2011
The Philadelphia Citizens Planning Institute’s (CPI) mission is to empower citizens to take a more effective and active role in shaping the future of their neighborhoods and of Philadelphia, through a greater understanding of city planning and the steps involved in development projects.
Change is inevitable. It will happen whether our community is prepared or not. Development and investment pressures (or lack of them) impact quality of life issues in our communities. Visionary leadership that seeks to engage all voices in the community can transform a degraded park or street into a place of pride. Good planning helps create communities that offer better choices for where and how people work and live. Citizen Planners have the know-how to address change head on and create a vision for their community’s future.
The primary programming of CPI is a biannual (spring and fall) series of classes filled by an application process. Participants representing diverse geographic areas of the city learn from volunteer instructors and from each other how to be proactive, instead of reactive, in bringing about positive changes. The over 700 graduates of the program represent over 130 neighborhoods across the city.
CPI is the education and outreach arm of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission.