CPP Models in Other Cities

Many cities throughout the country have Community Participation Programs. Below is a link to a comparison between these other cities and the NOLA CPP Model.

Compairson of CPP Models in Other Cities

A Comparison of Outstanding Community Participation Programs with the New Orleans CPP Model


Currently, there are Community Participation Programs (CPP) in hundreds of cities across the United States. A review of the most successful programs reveals that there are certain features common to all these programs, despite the obvious differences in geography, economics and culture in these cities. For example, all of these programs utilize both a district level and a neighborhood level structure to ensure effective communication between citizens and city government. By examining the participation programs in these cities, many of which have been working for over thirty years, New Orleans citizens can determine what a successful participation structure is and how it can work.

Birmingham, Alabama
The CPP model in Birmingham looks very similar to the NOLA CPP model. However, it does use different language to describe the structure. There are 95 recognized Neighborhood Groups in the system, and these neighborhoods are then grouped into 22 Communities, which represent 2 to 6 neighborhoods each. An officer from each neighborhood serves on one of the 22 Communities. These resemble the NOLA CPP District Councils; however the NOLA CPP model represents a condensed version of this idea, creating one District Council for each of the 13 Planning Districts. One representative from each of the communities is then selected to serve on the Citizen Advisory Board (CAB). This board advises city officials on important decisions and delivers information to the Community Advisory Committees.

Birmingham Participation at a Glance

Established 1975

Participation Structure:
95 recognized neighborhoods
22 Communities

2009 Population: 230,131

Median Household Income: $26,735

Race and Ethnicity: 73.5% Black or African American, 24.1% White, 1.6% Hispanic or Latino

2010 Citizens Participation Budget: $24,543.00

Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta’s Citizen Participation Plan also looks similar to the New Orleans model though again the language is a bit different. The city has 242 neighborhoods that make up 25 Neighborhood Planning Units (NPUs). These NPUs are comparable to NOLA CPP’s District Councils in that they convene representatives from neighborhoods in a specific geographic area to discuss planning and zoning as well as quality of life issues. However, while the NOLA CPP’s District Councils would deal directly with the City, the Atlanta model has one more layer to its structure. One delegate from each NPU serves on the Atlanta Planning Advisory Board (APAB) which advises City Council and presents trainings and workshops to the neighborhoods. Atlanta’s CPP scope is more limited than other CPPs since it focuses on land use and planning issues and not all of the issues that affect neighborhood quality of life.

Atlanta Participation at a Glance

Established 1975

Participation Structure:

242 recognized neighborhoods
25 Neighborhood Planning Units


2009 Population: 540,922

Median Household Income: $34,770


Race and Ethnicity: 61.4% Black or African American, 33.2% White, 4.5% Hispanic or Latino, 1.9% Asian


2010 Citizens Review Board Budget: $ 311,940

Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston’s Citizen Participation Plan is currently housed under The Department of Planning and Neighborhoods. The structure is similar to the NOLA CPP model but much larger. They utilize a Neighborhood Council structure to represent neighborhoods in a specific area and currently have 89 active councils. The Neighborhood Councils function similarly to the NOLA CPP District Councils, maintaining contact with Neighborhood Association officers and providing an avenue of information to and from the City. Additionally, a Neighborhood Commission, made up of 12 citizens from each planning district appointed by the City, makes decisions regarding the Citizen Participation structure such as whether to recognize Neighborhood Councils. This body resembles the Community Advisory Group represented in the NOLA CPP model.

Charleston Participation at a Glance

Established 1978

Participation Structure:

89 Neighborhood Councils
1 Neighborhood Commission


2009 Population: 115,638


Median Household Income: $35,295


Race and Ethnicity: 63.1% White, 34% Black or African American, 1.5% Hispanic or Latino, 1.2% Asian


2010 Department of Planning and Neighborhoods Budget: $523,782

Portland, Oregon
In 1974, Portland established an Office of Neighborhood Associations to provide support to an official Citizen Participation structure. The structure adopted, and still utilized today, consists of 95 Neighborhood Associations which are served by five, independent non-profit District Coalition Offices and two city-run District Offices.  These offices provide technical and administrative assistance to the Neighborhood Associations, as well as capacity-building support. The Neighborhood District Coalitions closely resemble the District Council structure, providing support and a channel of information to and from city government for Neighborhood Associations. This structure is supported by the Office of Neighborhood Involvement.

Portland Participation at a Glance

Established 1975


Participation Structure:

95 Neighborhood Associations
7 District Offices


2010 Population: 583,835


Median Household Income: $40,146


Race and Ethnicity: 77.9% White, 6.8% Hispanic or Latino, 6.6% Black or African American, 6.3% Asian, 4.1% Persons reporting two or more races


2011 Office of Neighborhood Involvement Budget: $6,439,822

Dayton, Ohio
Dayton’s official citizen participation structure is currently supported by the Division of Citizen Participation. Under this structure, one of the City’s seven Priority Boards represents the City’s 65 neighborhoods and ultimately through a Chairperson’s Council, which oversees the Priority Board system. This system is comparable to the NOLA CPP model in aim and scope. Dayton’s Priority Boards provide forums for consideration of conflicting interests and develop partnerships to create consensus on complex city issues. The Priority Boards also form partnerships with developers and community institutions to ensure all stakeholders are represented in City decisions. The NOLA CPP model utilizes District Councils to achieve the same results.

Dayton Participation at a Glance

Established 1975

Participation Structure:

65 recognized neighborhoods
7 Priority Boards


2009 Population: 153,843


Median Household Income: $27,423


Race and Ethnicity: 53.4% White, 43.1% Black or African American, 1.8% Persons reporting two or more races, 1.6% Hispanic or Latino


2010 Budget: Unavailable

New Orleans, Louisiana

The New Orleans Citizen Participation Program (NOLA CPP) Model is informed by the most successful elements of other cities models. Similar to the rest of the models, NOLA CPP structure has District Councils which facilitates communication between City government and the Neighborhood Associations. In addition, the District Councils provide resources and support to the Neighborhood Associations. The District Councils are organized around the City’s 13 Planning Districts and will bring together the recognized Neighborhood Associations in each district. One different aspect of the NOLA CPP Model from the other cities is that it includes Communities of Interest which will include groups and organizations that across neighborhood boundaries.

New Orleans at a Glance

Participation Structure:
224 Neighborhood Associations

13 District Councils

Population: 354,850

Median Household Income: $39,398

Race and Ethnicity: 60.5% Black/African American, 34.4% White, 4.5% Hispanic/ Latino, 2.9% Asian

Proposed Annual Budget: $2,100,000

Comparison of NOLA CPP Model to Other Cities

The NOLA CPP model is structurally more concise than most of the other programs studied by the NOLA CPP team, eliminating the level(s) between the District Council and the city government that appears in many other cities’ CPP structures, including Atlanta and Dayton. The NOLA CPP structure is almost identical in structure to Birmingham’s and Portland’s models, which are two of the most studied and highly acclaimed programs in the country. However, the NOLA CPP model is a stream-lined version of these models, employing only 13 District Councils as opposed to the 22 used in the Birmingham Citizen Participation program and 25 used in Atlanta’s Neighborhood Planning Unit system. Like every other model studied, the NOLA CPP model utilizes some structural equivalent to the District Council which serves to support and inform Neighborhood Associations. Unlike the other models, the NOLA CPP model has Communities of Interest, which makes it more inclusive than the other cities that have only a neighborhood-based model.


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