Donna J. Carney is the founding Director of the Philadelphia Citizens Planning Institute, the education and outreach arm of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission. She brings to this role years of project management and design experience as an architect specializing in historic preservation and sustainable design. Her goal is to guide the development of educational tools to empower communities of people within Philadelphia to learn, grow, and improve the quality of their neighborhoods.
Donna is inspired to meet so many life-long learners who love where they live all across Philadelphia! She is a strategy designer and facilitator, aiming to engage all community stakeholders in creating a shared vision. She has developed educational and interpretive materials for municipalities (downtown façade programs), arts & historical non-profits and the National Park Service.
Donna is a graduate of Fielding University’s Organization Management & Development program (MA), Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation (MS Historic Preservation), New Jersey Institute of Technology College of Architecture & Design (MArch) and Iowa State University's College of Design (BA). She is a Certified Charrette Planner (National Charrette Institute, 2006) and a registered architect in the state of Pennsylvania. She was recognized by the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA) with its 2014 “Planning Leadership Award for Professional Planner”. Her position as Director became institutionalized within the City Planning Commission in 2015.
Verónica firmly believes in everyone's ability to participate in a greater conversation; one that affects the way we live, and the pursuit to improve it. For years, in both volunteer and professional capacities, she has been facilitating collaborations, organizing, and developing strategies, leading creative initiatives, and building the skills of leaders to advance social transformation.
While studying architecture at Temple University, Verónica honed her passion for urban affairs into the creation of Building Relationships in Communities [BRIC]; a collective that creates stronger neighborhoods through inclusive projects and fostering relationships between traditionally separate communities. Previously to CPI, Verónica worked at Philadelphia LISC, where she facilitated the Community Connectors program and the co-facilitated the Experience Eastern North tour program. She serves as a continuing education instructor at Temple University and as chair for the Design Advocacy Group’s Equity Task Force.