The Healthy Eating Active Living Cities Campaign provides a variety of resources and offers free, individualized assistance to help elected officials and city staff develop and implement policies in the areas of Land Use & Transportation, Access to Healthy Food Options, Shared Use, and Workplace Wellness. Campaign staff can provide materials, meet in person or by phone, and attend local meetings to make presentations and provide advice.

Contact the Campaign to discuss how we can best be of help.

In the News

Videos & Webinars

HEAL Cities Learning Session: Community Engagement. The first in the new series of learning sessions is on community engagement and is presented by Duncan Hwang, Associate Director of APANO. To view the slides, click here.

California Center for Public Health Advocacy’s YouTube Channel. CCPHA’s Channel on YouTube containing videos regarding Fast Food Brochures, Soda Consumption and it’s link to Obesity, HEAL Cities Campaign Exercise Breaks and more.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Making the Business Case for Prevention Video Series. Watch and share a selection of online videos that address community health and chronic disease prevention. These videos are also available on the Community Health Playlist on CDC’s YouTube Channel.

HEAL Cities Campaign webinar series. Watch a series of webinars addressing how cities can create healthy environments.

National League of Cities Webinar: Financing a Culture of Health: How Cities are Using Innovative Financing Approaches to Improve Health & Well-Being. January 19, 2017.

Land Use

General Resources

The Health Perspective on Planning & The Planning Perspective on Health. ChangeLab Solutions. These fact sheets summarize research linking health outcomes to the built environment: one for health practitioners and advocates, and one for planners. The information is meant to provide rationale to support built environment policy change and to serve as a discussion tool when developing connections between public health practitioners and planners.

Creating a Regulatory Blueprint for Healthy Community Design. International City/County Managers Association. 2005. Designed for local government officials, this guide provides a strategic framework for reforming zoning and related development codes to encourage the design of more compact, vibrant, and healthy communities.

Planning and Designing the Physically Active Community Resource List. American Planning Association. This list contains book, article, and government document citations. It is part of a continuous process and may be considered a literature review as well as a resource list for the project.

CDC-NPS Parks, Trails, and Health Workbook: A Tool for Planners, Parks and Recreational Professionals, and Health Practitioners. This is a quick guide for incorporating public health considerations in the development and improvement of a park or trail. Its intended and potential uses include helping you:
* Facilitate interagency and stakeholder discussion and collaboration related to parks, trails, and community health issues.
* Find data and information to engage and enlist new health partners, funding resources and stakeholders.
* Assess the health and community needs for a new park/trail project or enhancement.
* Prepare for a health impact assessment or for health grant applications.

Seeding the City: Land Use Policies to Promote Urban Agriculture. National Policy and Legal Analysis Network to Promote Physical Activity. ChangeLab Solutions. 2011. This toolkit provides a framework and model language for land use policies that local policymakers can tailor to promote and sustain urban agriculture in their communities.

The Healthy Development Measurement Tool. San Francisco Department of Public Health. The HDMT is a comprehensive evaluation metric to consider health needs in urban development plans and projects. It explicitly connects public health to urban development planning in efforts to achieve a higher quality social and physical environment that advances health.

Active Living/Land Use Resources. ChangeLab Solutions. This is an alphabetical list of reputable organizations and publications that are useful for land use and planning work.

Every Body Walk! The Campaign to Get America MovingA collaborative consortium of Kaiser Permanente and partners. This collaboration provides a resources and leadership to help make walking attractive, accessible and safe for everyone.

Comprehensive Plan Updates

Oregon Public Health Institute (OPHI) has compiled and linked a range of resources related to creating healthy comprehensive plans. Click here to access the OPHI website.

Healthy Zoning Regulations

Establishing Land Use Protections for Farmers Markets. The National Policy and Legal Analysis Network. 2009. NPLAN has created a set of complementary model land use policies to help communities create more opportunities for farmers markets and ensure their long-term viability.

The City Planner’s Guide to Obesity Epidemic: Zoning and Fast Food. The Centers for Law and the Public’s Health. 2005. This is an abbreviated guide for planners that examines how zoning laws can encourage the availability of nutritious food and limit the proliferation of food that can be harmful.

Seeding the City: Land Use Policies to Promote Urban Agriculture. ChangeLab Solutions. 2011. This toolkit sets forth a framework and model language for urban agriculture land use policies that communities can tailor to their particular context and needs.

Local Government Commission (LGC) has many useful tools for those interested in high density, mixed-use development, including Smart Growth Zoning Codes: A Resources Guide.

Model Local Ordinance on Complete Streets. The National Policy And Legal Analysis Network. The purpose of this model ordinance is to assist localities in making streets safe, comfortable, and convenient for everyone.

The National Complete Streets Coalition website delineates 10 elements for a complete streets policy.

Street Design Guidelines for Healthy Neighborhoods: Walkable Communities. These guidelines identify ways to design new neighborhoods that will be more interactive, walkable, enjoyable, and livable.

Healthy Infrastructure Investment

Safety-based prioritization of schools for Safe Routes to School infrastructure: A process for transportation officials. National Center for Safe Routes to School. This document describes a straightforward way to identify the schools and specific locations that have the greatest need for pedestrian infrastructure improvements.



General Resources

Safe States Pedestrian Injury Prevention Training and Mini-Grants. Due July 28, 2014. These grants will fund cities for projects that advance pedestrian safety, up to $9,000.

Getting Involved in Transportation Planning. ChangeLab Solutions. 2011. This fact sheet discusses the important link between transportation planning and health, describes the key players and processes of local and regional transportation planning, and suggests ways to advocate effectively for healthier transportation policies.

Transportation and Health Toolkit. American Public Health Association. This tooklit is an attempt to build a bridge between the public health and transportation communities, to create a common language for use by public health advocates that ensures our voices are heard by those who need to hear them.

Healthy, Equitable Transportation Policy: Recommendations and Research. PolicyLink, Prevention Institute, Convergence Partnership. In this project, leading academic researchers and advocates working at the intersection of transportation policy, equity, and public health identify opportunities for creating transportation systems that promote health and equity. This report synthesizes their insights and offers concrete recommendations for change.

Every Body Walk! The Campaign to Get America Moving. A collaborative consortium of Kaiser Permanente and partners. This collaboration provides a resources and leadership to help make walking attractive, accessible and safe for everyone.

The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2012. A report produced by Smart Growth America. 

Transportation Plans

Creating Healthy Regional Transportation Plans: A Primer for California’s Public Health Community on Regional Transportation Plans and Sustainable Communities Strategies. Transform. 2012. The guide is intended for public health and sustainable transportation professionals as well as local government officials. Ultimately, the guide should help decision-makers focus on strategies that not only improve transportation efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but also have dramatic health and health equity benefits.

Bicycle and Pedestrian Plans

Healthy Communities Report: Active Transportation Design Guidance and Recommendations- Draft. 2011. This report summarizes efforts and findings of research conducted to support development of the Healthy Design Ordinance (HDO). The research topic areas included in this summary and the appendices are: state legislation, case studies, best practices, cost and benefits of healthy design, and potential code recommendations.

Getting the Wheels Rolling: A Guide to Using Policy to Create Bicycle Friendly Communities. ChangeLab Solutions. 2013. This guide is a roadmap to making all types of communities bicycle friendly by helping policymakers figure out where to start, and spells out how to effectively use policy to promote bicycling.

Creating a Roadmap for Producing and Implementing a Bicycle Master Plan. The National Center for Bicycling and Walking. Active Living Resource Center. 2009. This guide will lead you through three phases of a Bicycle Master Plan project.

Safe Routes to School

Safety-based prioritization of schools for Safe Routes to School infrastructure: A process for transportation officials. National Center for Safe Routes to School. This document describes a straightforward way to identify the schools and specific locations that have the greatest need for pedestrian infrastructure improvements.

Getting More Students to Walk and Bicycle: Four Elements of Successful Programs. National Center for Safe Routes to School. This document pares down a study, Shifting Modes: A Comparative Analysis of Safe Routes to School Program Elements and Travel Mode Outcomes, to highlight the practical factors that allow practitioners to increase student participation in walking and bicycling to school.


Access to Healthy Food Options

General Resources

Getting Involved in Redevelopment: Strategies for Public Health Advocates. ChangeLab Solutions. 2010. This document shows how redevelopment can help build healthier communities and how advocates and residents can partner with redevelopment agencies throughout the process.

Just Around the Corner. Voices for Healthy Kids. 2014. A new toolkit on access to healthy and affordable foods in corner stores is a compilation of facts, sample materials, and guidance on how to build, engage, and mobilize a social change movement in your state or community on this critical issue.

Putting Business to Work for Health. ChangeLab Solutions. 2011. Local government incentives can motivate business and real estate stakeholders to make choices that promote access to healthier food and physical activity. The guide explores a variety of local incentives- policies and programs that make it faster for a developer to move through a project, more lucrative to locate in a neighborhood in need, or easier to obtain financing through low-cost loans and grants.

Healthy Food, Healthy Communities: Improving Access and Opportunities Through Food Retailing. PolicyLink. 2005. This report highlights promising strategies to develop grocery stores, improve the selection and quality of food in existing smaller stores, and start and sustain farmers markets. Planning for Healthy Places offers fact sheets on economic development and funding sources for healthy food retail.

Healthy Food Access Portal. This website connects community leaders, healthy food retailers, policymakers, and advocates to an extensive array of resources, strategies, and ideas to improve and increase access to healthy food retail in underserved communities.

National Alliance for Nutrition and Activity Healthy Meetings Toolkit. This toolkit includes guidance on key components of a healthy meeting and resources to help make hosting healthy meetings easier.

Let’s Move! Salad Bars 2 Schools. This is a comprehensive grassroots public health effort to mobilize and engage stakeholders at the local, state and national level to support salad bars in schools. 

Incentives for Healthy Retail

Cutting Through the Red Tape: A Resource Guide for Local Food Policy Practitioners and Organizers. Institute for Food and Development Policy. 2012. This document is a collection of tools, informational resources, or successful model policies that support an integrated, sustainable and equitable food system at the city or regional level to create food policy change.

How to Use Economic Development Resources to Improve Access to Healthy Food. ChangeLab Solutions. 2009. Public health officials and advocates can partner with economic development and other city agencies to help bring new food retail into low-income neighborhoods. This fact sheet is designed to provide a basic overview of how economic development programs work, highlighting a variety of ways for advocates to influence the process.

Planning to Eat? Innovative Local Government Plans and Policies to Build Healthy Food Systems in the United States. Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities- Buffalo Partnership. 2011. This policy brief includes a synthesis of recent best practices of local government policy and planning designed to strengthen policy and planning community food systems.

Seeding the City: Land Use Policies to Promote Urban Agriculture. ChangeLab Solutions. 2011. This toolkit sets forth a framework and model language for urban agriculture land use policies that communities can tailor to their particular context and needs.

Giving Business the Incentive to Promote Healthy Lifestyles. Change Lab Solutions. 2013. Examples of communities throughout the United States that have used  incentives, many of which are low- or no-cost, to motivate business owners to consider public health in their decision-making processes .


Shared Use

Opening School Grounds to the Community After Hours: Increasing Physical Activity Through Joint Use Agreements. ChangeLab Solutions. 2010. This toolkit helps communities and school districts work together to develop joint use agreements increasing access to recreational facilities on school grounds.

Model Joint Use Agreement Resources: Increasing Physical Activity by Opening Up School Grounds. National Policy and Legal Analysis Network to Prevent Childhood Obesity. 2012.

Shared Use of School and Community Facilities. Safe Routes to School National Partnership.

Intergovernmental Agreements, Oregon

Intergovernmental Agreement between the Cities of Tualatin, Tigard and Durham and Clean Water Services for Tualatin River Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge

Intergovernmental Agreement for the Joint Use and Development of Artificial Surface Multi-Use Athletic Field and Cross Country Running Trail


Workplace Wellness

Worksite Wellness Resource Guide. Washington State Department of Health. 2008. This kit outlines the importance of worksite wellness programs, example program strategies, policies and environmental approaches, resources and assessment tools.

Kaiser Permanente Thrive at Work Resource Center. 2016. This online toolkit has tools to help create a culture of health at work, from engaging employees and leadership to addressing specific workplace health issues.

The California Fit Business Kit Tools. Champions for Change. 2012. This toolkit is one of the best we have seen, even if it is from California. It is intended to increase access to fruits and vegetables and physical activity during the workday. These tools can be used individually or as part of a comprehensive worksite wellness program. Most importantly, the tools can assist employers and employees who are interested in combating declining employee health and ever-increasing health care costs.

Opening Up the Stairwells for Physical Activity. ChangeLab Solutions. 2012. A fact sheet that summarizes research on opening stairwells for use by employees or the public. The findings suggest that it this action is not likely to lead to any significant increase in risk for building owners, managers or tenants.

Energize Your Meetings. Washington State Guidelines.

Healthy Meeting Planning Guide. Shape Up Somerville.

Eat Smart North Carolina. 

Healthy Meeting Event Guidelines. Reach Healthy Communities.

Guidelines for Healthy Meetings. NY State Department of Health.

Healthy Meetings and Events. University of California, Berkeley Wellness Program.


Community Development

Build Healthy Places Network. Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foudnation, this networks brings community development and public health together to improve low-income communities.

Rural and Other Resources

Six Steps to Community Change. Community Commons. A case study showing six steps taken by Putnam County, Missouri, taking them from 74th out of 115 in the County Health Rankings to 25th, and building a healthier future for all residents.

Using Smart Growth and Universal Design to Link the Needs of Children and the Aging Population. American Planning Association. This briefing paper explores a variety of planning issues and principles related to multigenerational planning, including an overview of key demographic changes in U.S. household composition; common needs, interests, and concerns of these different yet similar populations; and the role of planners in addressing these needs and concerns.


Related Links

The HEAL Cities Campaign partners with numerous organizations, listed below, that have expertise in policies related to healthy eating and active living. These organizations and their helpful resources are described in the fact sheets of the HEAL Cities Campaign toolkit.

Organization HEAL Cities Campaign Policy Areas
California Center for Public Health Advocacy Policy briefs on a number of obesity related issues, including the recent “The Economic Costs of Overweight, Obesity, and Physical Inactivity Among California Adults – 2006
ChangeLab Solutions Policies and strategies for community-based solutions to reduce chronic disease.
Community Preventive Services Task ForceHEAL Cities National Campaign The Community Guide is a free resource to help choose programs and policies for healthier communities.Policy examples and resources for all HEAL areas.
Institute of Medicine Report on local government actions to prevent childhood obesity
Let’s Move Cities and Towns Campaign to enroll US cities in effort to stem obesity in a generation
Local Government Commission Fact sheets, model policies and training on smart growth, complete streets, safe routes to school, active transportation, community gardens, AB 32 and SB 375 and other topics
National Policy and Legal Analysis Network to Prevent Childhood Obesity Fact sheets and model policies on land use, healthy school food, and more
PolicyLink Policy papers with recommendations on health and the built environment and access to healthy food. It also analyzes the relationship between health and equity and provides recommendations.
Strategic Alliance Database of local physical activity and nutrition policy
Strategic Growth Council Urban Greening Planning and Program RFPs are potential resources for cities to increase physical activity and access to healthful food.
The City Project Mapping and policies related to parks and open space
US Conference of Mayors This report suggests a range of policies local governments can enact.