With a growing number of Philadelphia residents taking a more active role in improving or shaping the future of their neighborhoods, The Citizens Planning Institute. (CPI) is becoming a popular way for individuals active in civic organizations to learn more about how to get involved and take greater responsibility in community improvement throughout the city. The CPI, a program created and managed by the Philadelphia City Planning Commission, empowers citizens by providing information about city planning, zoning and the development process and learning from other civic organization leaders across the city. The CPI educational program for residents is one part of the Planning Commission’s “Philadelphia2035”<http://phila2035.org/home-page/about/> – a new comprehensive plan designed to create an even more vibrant city by 2035.
For the last two years, the grant-funded program has given 120 individuals the opportunity to attend classes and workshops taught by experts in the fields of sustainability, neighborhood and community development, zoning and other topics that students find of great value. After attending three classes, as well as electives and optional workshops, participants receive a “Certificate of Completion” as “citizen planners.” Many graduates are currently using their new skills and education to make improvements or plan for change in their community.
An application<http://citizensplanninginstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/FALL-2012-Application.pdf> process for the fall course series runs from now through September 20, and the CPI will select 30 students. The application, course descriptions and information about guest instructors are now posted on the CPI web site<http://citizensplanninginstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/FALL-2012-course-summaries-photos2.pdf>. Since the City’s new zoning code is now being implemented, there are a number of speakers who will be educating the fall class about how the new code can enhance development in their neighborhood or commercial corridor.
Classes, including a core curriculum and electives, will be held on Wednesday evenings (6-9pm), October 10 to November 14 in Center City. The core course of three sessions carries a fee of $30 total; the fee for each elective session is an additional $20. Buffet dinner is served at each session.
The fall session is supported by funding from the William Penn Foundation and the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission.