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“Tackling Obesity by Building Healthy Communities: Changing Policies Through Innovative Collaborations” at The City Project

The Center for Health Improvement and California Health Policies Forum highlights The City Project’s work in a Policy Brief on Tackling Obesity by Building Healthy Communities: Changing Policies Through Innovative Collaborations in December 2009.

The Policy Brief reports as follows:

Attacking Obesity Among the Underserved in Los Angeles

The City Project in Los Angeles envisions creating “a comprehensive and coherent web of parks, playgrounds, schools beaches, forests, and transportation that promotes human health and economic vitality, and reflects the diverse cultural urban landscape.” Through land-use planning, land conservation, policy and legal work, partnerships, and grassroots organizing, The City Project aims to:

• Increase park space, school fields, and access to natural public places for urban communities

• Build healthy communities by focusing on active recreation and healthy eating in the inner city

• Help students move more, eat well, and stay healthy

• Promote transit to trails (which allows urban residents to experience nature—e.g., through hiking trips to the mountains, camping at Los Angeles County beaches)

By actively engaging community residents and building capacity to advocate for and drive community change, The City Project helped save the sacred Native American site of Panhe and San Onofre State Beach, helped create the Los Angeles State Historic Park and the Río de Los Angeles State Park, helped save the community and Park in Baldwin Hills, and helped create Ascot Hills Park in East LA.

The positive impacts of these efforts are many, including:

• Healthy children playing in parks and school playgrounds

• Stronger policies for physical activity and healthy eating in parks and schools

• Youth development and leadership through physical activity and sports to improve academics and provide positive

alternatives to gangs, violence, and crime

• Improved health, and reduced obesity and diabetes.

The Policy Brief is available online here.

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