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Comprehensive Land Use and Regional Growth Projects

Healthy Works Phase I


Healthy Works

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), three risk behaviors — lack of physical activity, poor nutrition, and tobacco use —are responsible for much of the early death related to chronic disease in the United States. Effectively addressing these three behaviors through policy, systems, and environmental change to make healthy choices the easier choices can have a significant impact on preventing negative health consequences, such as heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, and cancer.

In March 2010, CDC created the Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) program to apply practice and evidence-based strategies to reduce obesity and tobacco use across the nation. The program was funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. CPPW awarded a total of $373 million to local communities over a two-year period. HHSA

The County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) received $16.1 million through CPPW to fund projects in the San Diego region that increase levels of physical activity and access to healthy food and nutrition. The goals of the San Diego CPPW program, also called Healthy Works, were achieved through partnerships between HHSA, service providers, planning agencies, and community partners. HHSA partnered with SANDAG to implement projects related to regional planning, active transportation, and Safe Routes to School. This work was supported by $3 million in grant funds and was completed by March 2012.

In September 2011, HHSA received another grant through the CDC, the Community Transformation Grant (CTG), to build on the successes of the Healthy Works program. View information on Phase II of Healthy Works. 

Public Participation

Local agencies, schools, tribal governments and community-based organizations had several opportunities to get involved. Through the Healthy Works program, SANDAG awarded 24 grants to local agencies, schools, tribal governments, and community-based organizations. In addition, a Public Health Stakeholders Group was formed, composed of key stakeholders in the San Diego region, to provide input on the Healthy Works initiatives.

SANDAG Initiatives

SANDAG implemented the following six projects as part of the Healthy Works program:

Health Impact and Assessment

  • Developed a Healthy Communities Atlas that mapped existing data on social and physical determinants of health
  • Developed a health module for the SANDAG CommunityViz sketch planning tool that can quantify health co-benefits and impacts of proposed plans and projects at the local and regional levels
  • Developed recommendations for enhancing the SANDAG activity-based regional transportation demand forecasting model to better account for active transportation trips, and quantify health co-benefits and impacts of proposed transportation and land use plans and projects at the regional level

    Regional Comprehensive Planning Policies

  • Developed recommendations for a health and wellness policy framework and performance metrics that may be included in regional transportation and land use plans

    Healthy Communities Campaign

  • Provided technical assistance and trainings to local agencies on healthy and active community design and complete streets
  • Developed and implemented two pass-through grant programs (Learn more):
    • Healthy Communities Planning grants to local agencies and tribal governments to add public health components to local planning efforts
    • Active Community Transportation grants to local agencies to develop comprehensive approaches for creating bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods
  • Assessed the feasibility of developing comprehensive, evidence-based design guidelines to promote physical activity and healthy communities in the San Diego region
  • Developed a Pilot Health Benefit and Impact Assessment (HIA) process to evaluate how SANDAG could integrate health considerations in planning and project development
  • Provided training to agency staff, community- based organizations, health advocates, consultants, and education institutions on conducting HIAs (Learn more)

    Safe Routes to School Implementation

  • Developed a Regional Safe Routes to School Strategic Plan to guide future SANDAG involvement in promoting walking and bicycling to school as safe and attractive travel choices
  • Developed and implemented two pass-through grant programs for local jurisdictions, school districts and community based organizations (Learn more)
    • Safe Routes School Planning and Capacity Building grants supported comprehensive Safe Routes to School planning
    • Safe Routes to School Education, Encouragement, and Enforcement grants funded programs that encouraged and educated students, parents, school officials, and other community stakeholders to walk and bicycle to school safely

  • Partnered with local jurisdictions, public health agencies, school districts, and community-based organizations to establish a Regional Safe Routes to School Coalition that meets bi-monthly to collaboratively address Safe Routes to School related issues.

    Active Commuter Transportation Campaign

  • Expanded Bike to Work Day promotions to include the entire month of May (2011) and implemented the Walk, Ride, and Roll to School Campaign in 22 schools across the region

    Regional Bicycle Plan Implementation
    (to be completed by December 2012)

  • Developed bicycle wayfinding signage plans for several regional bicycle corridors to encourage biking for practical purposes, such as commuting to work, for shopping, and connecting to transit
  • Produced promotional materials about the regional bicycle network to encourage utilitarian bicycling and to communicate the public health, environmental, and quality of life benefits of bicycling (View video)

    Healthy Communities Atlas

    The Healthy Communities Atlas maps existing conditions for social and physical factors, or determinants, that affect health outcomes and disparities in the San Diego region. These determinants of heath are based on current evidence and research. The Atlas is a series of maps and accompanying explanatory text and tables. The underlying data is available for download in GIS format.

  • Related Resources


  • Fact Sheet - Healthy Works Phase I [PDF: 510KB]