The Citizens Planning Institute empowers citizens to improve Philadelphia and their local communities.

The Citizens Planning Institute is now accepting applications for its fall 2023 course. Throughout the eight-week course participants will learn about planning, land use, zoning, and the real estate development process. The Citizens Planning Institute is the educational branch of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission. This course will be held in-person for the first time since 2019.

Over 700 participants from 130 different neighborhoods have completed CPI. The fall 2023 course will be held in Center City on Wednesday evenings from September 27 to November 15. The course fee is on a sliding scale, up to $300. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

The Citizens Planning Institute demystifies the process of planning by pointing participants to the resources necessary to make changes in their neighborhood.

“CPI is for anyone who wants to make a difference in their community,” said Donna Carney, Program Director of the City Planning Institute. “It gives people the tools, resources, and connections to get things done in their neighborhood.”

Participants learn from leaders in the fields of planning, development, and community organizing. They also connect with the growing network of Citizen Planners across the City who are working on many of the same issues.

“Every speaker was amazing,” Ashley Waller, Spring 2021 student, wrote in a testimonial. “This course allowed me to open myself up to a group of people who care about their neighborhood as much as I do.”

Applications open for the Fall 2023 course on August 14 and close on September 10. Apply here: