Saturday, May 25, 2024



Citizens Planning Institute just dropped a nifty resource for the civic engagement crowd

A kit full of citizen tools. August 23, 2016 Category: FeatureResultsShort


Editor's note: This piece has been updated to reflect that everyone who contributed to the Citizens Toolkit wanted the same things for their communities, not everyone in CPI. Edit 8/24 @ 1:45 p.m.
What happens when you put 15 neighborhood leaders through a series of civic workshops, have them deconstruct their community successes, aggregate those best practices and distill them down into a single usable guide?

You get something like the Citizens Toolkit, a new resource compiled by the Philadelphia City Planning Commission‘s Citizens Planning Institute. It’s the end product of a series of workshops in which community stakeholders and leaders were asked to fess up their actionable lessons on community building and problem solving.

After all, citizenship is more than just your vote.

“These are things that will help you no matter where you live in Philadelphia,” said Ariel Diliberto, program associate at CPI. “It’s for anyone who lives or works in Philadelphia — anybody who wants to affect some sort of change in their neighborhood.”

Maybe you want to know how to revitalize a blighted local park. If so, you might want to read about how Hunting Park’s Leroy Fisher got the job done. Or maybe you want to attract new businesses to your neighborhood’s main stretch. Learn from the experience of John Theobald and James Wright, two leaders in the River Wards who did just that on Frankford Ave.

“Everybody [who contributed to the guide] wanted the same thing no matter where they live,” said Diliberto. “Safety, beauty, community.”

The Citizens Toolkit was built to help more neighborhoods and more blocks move toward that goal.

P.S. Applications for the Fall 2016 Citizens Planning Institute are open now through Sept. 19. According to Diliberto, the “vast majority” of Citizens Toolkit contributors are graduates of the institute.

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