About the Citizens Planning Institute

CPI is the education and outreach arm of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission. CPI introduces Philadelphians, who “love where they live”, to the activities of city planning, zoning and development so they can help shape and preserve their neighborhoods.

What we do:

Our main activity is an eight-week course, offered every spring and fall, to a new and diverse group of thirty residents who bring new-found skills and resources back to their neighborhood organizations. The course looks 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. To date, over 700 participants representing over 130 different neighborhoods have completed CPI!


CPI demystifies the process of planning by pointing you to the resources necessary to make changes in your neighborhood. Whether you are a seasoned neighborhood leader or a new resident eager to be more active in the community, CPI will help you in envisioning the necessary steps to create and follow through on a plan.” –Fall 2013 participant

  • Our Mission

    The Citizens Planning Institute empowers citizens to take a more effective and active role in shaping the future of their neighborhoods and of Philadelphia.

  • Our Vision

    Citizens throughout the City of Philadelphia are meaningfully engaged in planning for their communities and the City. CPI is the “front door” for grassroots planning and a central hub for a wide-reaching network of empowered community advocates.

  • Our Values
    • Creating a friendly and supportive, high quality learning environment.
    • Delivering information to encourage critical thinking which is consistent regardless of the audience.
    • Inspiring learners to connect with other like-minded community contributors.
    • Collaborating with respected knowledge experts from public and private sectors.
  • Our Goals

    Goal 1: Create a citywide network of like-minded Philadelphians with a shared sense of civic duty to make a positive difference in their neighborhoods.

    Goal 2: Provide residents with the tools to take informed action to improve where they live across all neighborhoods of the city

    Goal 3: Build a diverse and engaged constituency for planning that can be tapped by all city agencies to help promote programs and initiatives.

Planning In Philadelphia

As part of the Philadelphia Department of Planning and Development, the Philadelphia City Planning Commission (PCPC) is a bridge between the public and the government. PCPC helps to guide investment and growth in Philadelphia. The goal is to create neighborhoods that are well-connected, affordable, and desirable places to live and work.

Philadelphia 2035

In June 2011, the PCPC approved the city’s first comprehensive plan since 1960: Philadelphia 2035. A comprehensive plan is a citywide plan presenting a vision for future development and changes in the city. Visit the Phila2035 website to read the plan and learn more. The citywide plan and the 18 Districts plan will be updated beginning in 2023 by engaging with residents across the city.

CPI Strategic Vision

In 2020, CPI Advisory Board and staff refreshed the program's Strategic Vision and updated program history.

View our Strategic Vision