Turning great ideas into healthier communities


California Healthy Cities and Communities: Laying the Foundation, Leading the Way

2009 | Download

A synopsis of the roots of California Healthy Cities and Communities and its impact over the past 20 years.

What began in 1988 as a vision of bringing the World Health Organization’s Healthy Cities model to California, has grown and flourished to become the largest and longest running statewide program of its kind in the nation. To date, over 70 cities and communities have participated in the California Healthy Cities and Communities (CHCC) Program.

Special acknowledgement goes to the first ten pioneering cities, which, with no new resources, took the concepts and made them “come alive” in their diverse communities. Local accomplishments have been impressive, with over $43 million leveraged (ROI of 8:1) and many programs winning state and national acclaim.

Selected Outcomes

  • Increased fruit and vegetable consumption from 18% to 60% eating 3 or more daily servings
  • Increased teens’ average GPA from below 2.0 to above 2.5 for intergenerational tutoring participants
  • Decreased violent crime arrests by 47% following forums to promote public safety

Selected Policies & Systems Reforms

  • Established policies to allow interim use of public and private land for community gardens and recreation
  • Developed a “Quality of Life Index” to monitor livability indicators and guide policy development and resource allocation
  • Incorporated a health element into a city’s General Plan

Continue reading the report.