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CPI Quick Facts

What is CPI?

Citizens Planning Institute (CPI) is the education and outreach arm of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission.

CPI's main programming is a biannual seven-week course that provides an introduction to city planning, zoning, the development process and special topics. Find out more about the course on the Course Info page!

CPI’s mission is 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.

Who is the CPI course for?

Anyone who loves where they live! Whether you’ve been involved in your neighborhood for years, or if you’re a new neighbor—if you want to make a different in your community, CPI is for you! To date, 570 Philadelphians have participated, representing over 120 different neighborhoods.

What is planning?

City planning helps guide how to improve housing, neighborhoods, jobs, transportation, and public space. Plans make recommendations based on community input and on studies of existing properties, demographics, housing, and transit issues. They also identify how to turn the ideas in the plan into action. Find out more about city planning in Philadelphia on the About page.

What will you take away from the experience?

Not only will you learn from instructors who are professionals in the fields of planning, development, and community development, you will also be connected with the growing network of Citizen Planners across the City who are working on many of the same neighborhood challenges. The CPI course provides practical tools individuals can take back to their neighborhood organizations or communities so they can engage in planning issues on equal footing with other stakeholders.