Livability Academy

Livability Academy

The Livability Academy is a training opportunity and leadership incubator for community members to build skills, knowledge, and relationships as they work to improve quality of life in our neighborhoods. Residents and stakeholders are invited to participate in this six-week course (held every spring and fall) where they design and implement innovative solutions to quality-of-life issues, drawing on their own expertise in our neighborhoods.

During this 30-hour training, participants engage in lessons and activities on topics ranging from crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) and SafeGrowth, to data collection, communication and storytelling, fundraising, and building community partnerships. Using inclusive organizing techniques and consensus decision making practices, team members start by building a collective history of our community and identifying a shared vision for our future, and end the program by presenting a short-term project and long-term vision to the community and potential partners and sponsors. With technical support from HACE and financial assistance from our generous funders, participants are able to implement the projects they develop during this course, and continue building off this success long after the course has concluded.

Past Livability Academy projects include a team working to address food access by planting a community garden and partnering with small business owners to increase the availability of fresh produce; a group of residents focused on safety and beautification along Gurney Street collaborating on the physical transformation of that street; and an intergenerational team of women bringing toiletries, relaxing treatments, and referral services to people experiencing homelessness through a pop-up shop event.

Interested in participating in the Livability Academy? We’re looking for people who are:

  • High school age or older
  • Able to commit to five hours of class over six consecutive Saturdays
  • Able to complete one-two hours of homework for class each week
  • Are excited about working with others to make a difference in our community!

Does this sound like you? Register for the Fall 2019 session (September 21 – November 2) here:


For more information, please contact the Livability Academy Coordinator:

Ellie Matthews

  • HACE Main Office
  • 167 W. Allegheny Avenue, Suite 200
  • Philadelphia, PA 19140
  • (215) 426-8025 x3003

The Livability Academy is supported in part by the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation and AARP Pennsylvania.