Healthy Cities Program

Chronic diseases are seven of the top ten leading causes of death for County residents. They affect quality of life, increase healthcare costs, and increase risks for COVID-19 infection and outcomes. Many chronic diseases are also preventable.

While individual behaviors and healthy habits can reduce risk for chronic disease, the County, cities, and towns play a very important role in preventing chronic disease by making policy, environmental, and systems changes that promote health.

Healthy Cities Dashboard

How are cities and towns across the County doing in adopting policies and practices that support the health of their residents? Check out the Dashboard below to find out!

How to read the dashboard

The Medals dashboard shows what medals (bronze, silver, or gold) a city has earned in each of 9 total policy categories based on how many policies or practices within those categories a city has adopted that meet the criteria. A blank space means the city has not earned a medal in that policy category. The letters “NA” mean the city cannot earn a medal in that policy category because no strategy within the category applies to the City. View our Healthy Cities Policy Criteria below to better understand how cities can earn medals in each category.

The Policy dashboard shows what policies and practices County of Santa Clara cities and towns have adopted within each policy category to support the health of their residents. The dashboard will display the following symbols to show a city’s progress on a given policy:

  • A check mark means a city has achieved the criteria for that policy
  • A black dot means a city has a policy that does not meet all criteria for that strategy
  • An up arrow means a city has prioritized working on that policy but has not yet achieved it
  • The letters “NA” show when certain criteria do not apply to a city
  • No symbol means the city has not adopted a policy

All dashboards are updated on a weekly basis if there is new policy or medal data to share for a given city. If you have questions about the dashboard, please contact us at [email protected].

 

Model Policies

Want to adopt policies to prevent chronic disease in your city? Review our list of model policies. Does your city need technical assistance related to the Healthy Cities policy priorities? Please contact us at [email protected].

Healthy Cities Policy Data

Want to download the policy and medal data from the Healthy Cities Dashboard? You can download the datasets from the County of Santa Clara Open Data Portal:

Healthy Cities Policy Criteria

Use the criteria in the drop-down menus below to understand how cities can earn a bronze, silver, or gold medal in each policy category.

    • To earn a bronze medal, the jurisdiction must integrate Complete Streets standards and guidelines into its General Plan.
    • To earn a silver medal, the jurisdiction must complete the bronze medal criteria AND adopt a Vision Zero Action Plan.
    • To earn a gold medal, the jurisdiction must complete both the bronze and silver medal criteria, AND the jurisdiction’s Vision Zero Action Plan must address racial and health inequities. The jurisdiction must also have adopted or updated a Parks Master Plan (or other policies) within the previous 10 years and include strategies to promote equitable access to parks and green spaces. The parks plan or policies should include implementation strategies and regular or annual reporting to assess progress in increasing access.
    • To earn a bronze medal, the jurisdiction must fund and implement Transportation Demand Management (TDM) strategies and provide city/town employees with Commuter Benefit Options. For a list of acceptable options, review the Employer Guide on 511.org. Although not required to receive a bronze medal, the Healthy Cities Program strongly encourages offering a telework option to its qualified employees as a TDM strategy.
    • To earn a silver medal, the jurisdiction must complete the bronze medal criteria AND adopt green building/all-electric reach codes to phase out and eliminate use of natural gas that apply to all (100 percent of) new construction.
    • To earn a gold medal, the jurisdiction must complete both the bronze and silver medal criteria AND update or adopt a Climate Action Plan (CAP) with specific actions to meet state goals, such the Senate Bill (SB) 32 goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and/or Executive Order B-55-18 to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045. The CAP should also include an implementation plan with funding options and strategies to address racial inequities.
    • To earn a bronze medal, the jurisdiction must adopt a Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (or update the safety element of its General Plan). The plan must prioritize the needs of vulnerable populations related to climate events.
    • To earn a silver medal, the jurisdiction must complete the bronze medal criteria AND adopt a plan or policy to engage residents in establishing appropriate community spaces/facilities for use as resilience hubs during climate events. The plan or policy could be part of another plan, such as a Hazard Mitigation Plan, Climate Action Plan, or similar document.
    • To earn a gold medal, the jurisdiction must complete both the bronze and silver medal criteria AND adopt an Urban Forestry Plan.
    • To earn a bronze medal, the jurisdiction must adopt any one of the food procurement policies listed below.
    • To earn a silver medal, the jurisdiction must adopt any two of the food procurement policies listed below.
    • To earn a gold medal, the jurisdiction must adopt all three of the food procurement policies listed below AND adopt an ordinance or update its general plan to incentivize healthy food retail.

     

    Food procurement policies:

    • At least 50 percent of food and 100 percent of beverages purchased, served, and sold at meetings, celebrations, events, and city-run programming must be healthy.*
    • At least 50 percent of food and beverages purchased, served, and sold as part of city contracts and at city-run food establishments must be healthy.*
    • All food and beverages (100 percent) sold in vending machines on city property must be healthy.*

     

    *For more information about how to define “healthy” in a food procurement policy, please see the food and beverage model policy templates on pages 18-23 in our Healthy Worksite Toolkit.

    • To earn a bronze medal, the jurisdiction must adopt comprehensive Smoke-Free Outdoor Air and Public Spaces policies (including 100 percent of all parks, trails, recreation areas, dining areas, entryways, service lines, and public events).
    • To earn a silver medal, the jurisdiction must adopt a Smoke-Free Multi-Unit Housing policy that applies to 100 percent of units, including patios and balconies, and all common areas.
    • To earn a gold medal, the jurisdiction must complete both the bronze and silver medal criteria.
    • To earn a bronze medal, the jurisdiction must adopt a Tobacco Retail License (TRL) ordinance.
    • To earn a silver medal, the jurisdiction must complete the bronze medal criteria AND adopt any one of the tobacco retail restrictions listed below. The jurisdiction must also conduct annual enforcement of its TRL. Law enforcement in a city or town with 59 or fewer tobacco retailers must conduct enforcement checks at 50 percent of stores. Law enforcement in a city or town with 60 to 119 tobacco retailers must conduct enforcement at 40 percent of stores. Law enforcement in a city or town with 120 or more tobacco retailers must conduct enforcement at no fewer than 15 percent of stores. The Healthy Cities Program recommends that stores caught selling tobacco products to minors be checked again, however, duplicative (or follow-up) checks should not be counted toward the total number of annual checks performed by a law enforcement agency in each jurisdiction.
    • To earn a gold medal, the jurisdiction must complete both the bronze and silver medal criteria AND adopt all tobacco retail restrictions listed below.

     

    Tobacco retail restrictions:

    • Comprehensive restrictions on flavored tobacco products and e-cigarettes.
    • Density restrictions:
      • A limit on the number of tobacco/e-cigarette retailers.
      • A minimum distance between tobacco/e-cigarette retailers and schools.
      • A prohibition on the sale of tobacco/e-cigarette products in pharmacies.
    • To earn a bronze medal, the jurisdiction must adopt a Safe Storage ordinance that requires firearms to be stored with a locking device or in a locked container.
    • To earn a silver medal, the jurisdiction must complete the bronze medal criteria AND adopt a suicide prevention policy. The jurisdiction must apply resources toward suicide prevention policy implementation efforts.
    • To earn a gold medal, the jurisdiction must complete both the bronze and silver medal criteria, AND the jurisdiction’s Safe Storage ordinance must require safe storage of firearms except when the owner is in immediate control or possession of the firearm. The jurisdiction must also establish a community-based response program capable of assessing, deescalating, and addressing mental health and other emergencies without the involvement of uniformed officers.
    • To earn a bronze medal, the jurisdiction must adopt a resolution declaring racism a public health crisis.
    • To earn a silver medal, the jurisdiction must establish a Racial Equity Action Team AND develop and implement a Racial Equity Action Plan.
    • To earn a gold medal, the jurisdiction must complete the silver medal criteria AND adopt legislation requiring the application of Racial Equity Tools for planning, programming, policy, and budgeting decisions.
    • To earn a bronze medal, the jurisdiction must adopt a health element/section and/or incorporate health policies into its general plan that address and prevent health inequities, injury, and chronic disease. The Healthy Cities Program strongly recommends the inclusion of policies that address transportation mode shift, access to parks, healthy food access and/or food systems, and density of tobacco and alcohol outlets.
    • To earn a silver medal, the jurisdiction must complete the bronze medal criteria AND adopt one or more anti-displacement policies (beyond state law) to protect renters and preserve existing affordable housing.
    • To earn a gold medal, the jurisdiction must complete both the bronze and silver medal criteria AND adopt mandatory inclusionary housing policies. The inclusionary zoning ordinance must apply (at a minimum) to all projects of at least 10 units or more and require a minimum of 15 percent of new rental housing units to be affordable to residents who earn 80 percent or less of the area median income.

     


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