Achievements & Events


Thanks to a generous grant from the William Penn Foundation, a pilot course for CPI was developed and delivered in November 2010.  

The program has run the course biannually since then. 


The Philadelphia Citizens Planning Institute has received national recognition as a replicable model for citizen engagement.  

Awards include: 

  • Philadelphia City Planning Commission’s “integrated planning and zoning process” which includes CPI, won the 2013 National Planning Excellence Award for a Best Practice from the American Planning Association (APA). 
  • CPI Director Donna J. Carney was recognized with a 2014 Planning Leadership Award from the Pennsylvania chapter of the APA. 
  • The Philadelphia City Planning Commission won the 2016 APA National Planning Excellence Award for a Planning Agency. 



Since 2013, CPI Advisory Board members have contributed their diverse experiences and expertise to help advance the goals of the CPI. They promote CPI throughout the private, nonprofit and public sectors that they represent. Board members contributed during the planning process to produce the “2017 Strategic Vision “, and work behind the scenes for the continued sustainability of the CPI program.  



A full-time Program Manager position was created for CPI, greatly expanding the reach and capacity of the program. 


Neighbors Helping Neighbors Project was a pilot project initiated by CPI volunteers Mark Wheeler and Andrew Goodman. It received an Innovation Grant from The Mayor’s Fund for Philadelphia. 

A series of workshops took place in the fall of 2015, where stories from long-time resident “experts” were used to build the first Citizen’s Toolkit. 



Youth and Planning: Better Together! 

As part of the Philadelphia Office of Housing and Community Development and US Department of Housing and Urban Developments North Central Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Plan, CPI partnered with the Temple University College of Education, the Norris Apartments Residents Council, and Rebecca Fabiano Consulting Services Inc. to implement a youth planning program. The program, in two sessions through the Summer and Fall of 2016, engaged middle-school aged young people in the Norris Homes with placemaking in their community and introduced them to the power of planning! Learn more about the project 

As part of the initial summer session, about 30 youth aged nine to thirteen years old in the Norris Homes Summer Camp worked with Rebecca and her staff of energetic artists and educators on activities that explored things the youth love about Norris Homes. Community Teaching Artist and Temple University faculty member Jennie Shanker contributed to activities leading to a film being produced by a Norris Homes staffer. The topic of the film will be the impact of gun violence on community. Learning about the filmmaking process included roleplaying and brainstorming scenarios and building set pieces. Other activities included making maps of their neighborhood and interviewing their neighbors.  

In the fall, they returned with new maps making note of people who live in Norris Homes, and using photos and videotaping to capture their stories. The fall program built on the theme of community assets by having the boys and girls groups imagine their ideal, peaceful community. A newsletter for families was developed and delivered along with invitation to an Open House where projects were shared. Youth participated in a variety of critical thinking and arts-based activities leading up to their final projects.