Application period open for new class of Citizen Planners

The following information was provided by the City of Philadelphia’s Planning Commission.

The City of Philadelphia’s Citizen’s Planning Institute the City’s first educational program designed to engage citizens in the city planning process, has opened the application process for its Fall 2011 Course series. It launched as a pilot last fall and graduates from the first two course series—called “Citizen Planners”—are now using their knowledge and skills to create change in their own neighborhoods. Only 30 seats are available for each class to ensure a lively and interactive format for learning.

The CPI is the formal education and outreach arm of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission, and its mission is to empower active and interested citizens to be more effective advocates in neighborhood and citywide planning issues. The Fall Course of the CPI is made possible with funding from the William Penn Foundation.

The CPI course structure includes a prerequisite core course and three elective sessions.  The core course consists of three sessions focusing on planning, land use, zoning and the development process.  The Fall series includes three elective sessions—Commercial Corridor Development, Preserving a Sense of Place in Neighborhoods, and Greening Philadelphia & Greenworks on the Ground.  Completion of the core course and two electives will earn participants a “Citizen Planner Certificate of Completion.”

Those interested in applying can find an application form on the CPI website.  Applications must be mailed, emailed, or faxed to the CPI by 5 pm on September 15, 2011. Thirty applicants will be chosen for the core courses and each elective course.

“The graduates from CPI’s first year are already making a difference in their communities,” said Donna Carney, CPI Director.  “With the recent kick-off of the Philadelphia 2035 comprehensive plan and the anticipated reformed zoning code, it is more important than ever to empower Philadelphia residents to join the conversation about planning.”

The Fall course series begins on October 5 and runs through November 16.  There will be an optional Course Project Workshop on October 26.

Each session will be held at the Philadelphia City Planning Commission’s public meeting room #18029, 18th Flr, 1515 Arch Street, from 6 pm to 9 pm and includes a buffet dinner.  The core course of three sessions carries a fee of $30 total, and the fee for each elective session is an additional $20.

For more information, visit the Citizen Planners website or contact Donna Carney at or 215-683-4640.

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