The Power of the Plan for All


On Tuesday January 20th, “The Power of the Plan for All” event celebrated planning progress made not only by the Philadelphia City Planning Commission (PCPC), but also by individuals in their own neighborhoods. With the comprehensive Philadelphia2035 plan, PCPC has adopted eight district plans to date, with two more underway this year. The Citizen’s Planning Institute (CPI) is the education and outreach arm of PCPC  and has continued to empower passionate individuals with knowledge and tools of good planning.


Donna Carney, a member of last year’s Philly Girls Do Good class, is the director of CPI and proudly welcomed past graduates to share their success stories as Citizen Planners. Joyce Smith, a member of this year’s PGDG class and Citizen Planner in East Parkside, presented about the progress that the Viola Street Residence Association has made by partnering with the Community Design Collaborative and Habitat for Humanity. She emphasized the need for further support and collaboration to make the full neighborhood plan a reality.


The evening concluded with the presentation of the most recent CPI graduates, including Philly Girls Do Good founder Sylvia Palms, representing the Spruce Hill neighborhood. Fifty-seven new Citizen Planners completed the CPI curriculum in 2014 and will continue to execute planning initiatives in their own communities.



Ms. Carney wrapped up the evening by thanking all of the Citizen Planners, past, present and future. She compared them to pilot lights scattered throughout the city, for although they may be small flames, they are in it for the long haul. “Anything worth doing, is worth doing as long as it takes,” was her final summary, which is an attitude shared by many in the room and will no doubt contribute to future planning success throughout Philadelphia.

All photos by Mark Gavin Photo via the Philadelphia City Planning Commission

Kate Rutledge