For more information on past projects and additional resources, check out the links below:

Healthy Riverside Cities

Recognizing that health is an integral component of community development, cities across Riverside County are making a difference by including health policies into their general plans. Promoting access to fresh foods and vegetables, adoption of complete streets, and providing a wide range of health and mental health facilities are just a few examples of what is being done to shape the county into a better place to live, work and play.

Health Policies into the General Plan

The Riverside County Department of Public Health (DOPH) prepared a survey in 2011 to identify jurisdictions within the region, working to enhance our communities’ health. This survey was originally prepared in collaboration with Western Riverside Council of Governments and was used to gather data from both, Western and Eastern Riverside County.

 The mission of the Healthy Cities Network is to make the healthy choice the easy choice in all Riverside County cities through the advancement of health in all policies.

Its goals include working together to positively affect health in all neighborhoods, address health outcomes through policy making and to share strategies to involve community members throughout the healthy communities approach.

The Healthy Cities Network is committed to providing an environment where cities can share successes, obstacles and opportunities; collaborate on regional projects; coordinate legislative platforms that impact health; and develop quantifiable measures to gauge progress in the areas of achieving health and well-being for residents throughout Riverside County.

HCN - January 18, 2017

HCN - September 12, 2016

HCN - April 11, 2016:



The positive ramifications of smart growth are vast. A healthy community is one of the greatest benefits this approach can offer. For this reason, health professionals and practitioners across the U.S. continue to join forces with the stewards of the built, natural and social environments to improve the health of our nation.

Planners, designers, architects, engineers, developers, health foundations, elected officials, community-based organizations and many others are working together on issues related to the intersection of public health and community development like never before.

Prominent collaborations such as Plan4Health-a partnership between the American Planning Association and the American Public Health Association-are empowering coalitions to help improve health outcomes.

The Urban Land Institute's Building Healthy Places Initiative exemplifies how the private sector is responding to the need to incorporate health considerations into real estate development processes.

Visionaries in organizations such as the Million Healthier Lives and the Building Healthy Places Network are fostering a culture of health through the development of opportunities for cross sectoral-collaborations of traditional and non-traditional partners.

In many states, cities and counties are incorporating the Health in All Policies (HiAP) model into their daily work and by developing health and wellness chapters into their comprehensive land use planning policies.

These examples did not happen by accident. For more than three decades, planning and health professionals have been nurturing what we know today as the healthy communities movement. Within the past five years, however, these collaborations, partnerships and initiatives have sprouted throughout the nation and are fostering an emerging narrative that envisions a more just, equitable and healthier society.

Although the movement has made great strides, efforts are still scattered and uncoordinated without a common national healthy communities strategy.

Imagine if the leadership of major private and non-profit organizations, government agencies, professional associations, foundations, academics and community advocates advancing the healthy communities movement would coalesce in one place to learn from another.

Imagine if these health champions would develop a unified national healthy communities platform that would serve as a common denominator and as a guiding beacon for others to engage in the movement.

The opportunity to realize these two milestones is now a reality.

Click here to listen to the Infinite Earth Radio Podcast episode in which Erick Calloway from ChangeLab Solutions and Miguel A. Vazquez from the Riverside University Health System Public Health talk about the National Healthy Communities Platform.

On Saturday, February 4, 2017, a diverse group of leaders came together during the 2017 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference in Saint Louis, Missouri to be a part of the Beyond Healthcare Forum: Charting the National Healthy Communities Platform. After a lively panel discussion about the state and future of the healthy communities movement, attendees dive into identifying priority themes and topics to kick start the preparation of the National Healthy Communities Platform (NHCP).

The NHCP is envisioned as a guiding code for action for professionals and practitioners vested in the development of healthy communities.  This dynamic tool will be comprised of strategies for policy development and implementation that advance equity in all aspects of the social, natural and physical environments.

 Everyone working on improving the social determinants of health is invited to be a part of this journey. There are many organizations and individuals shaping the built, natural and social environments which affect the quality of health outcomes in the communities where we live, work, play and learn. They include planners, public health professionals, architects, developers, health foundations, smart growth advocates and many others. Whether or not you or your organization has taken a position on healthy communities, this is a unique opportunity to connect with other like-minded individuals and organizations to develop the National Healthy Communities Platform.



This year, the Riverside University Health System -- Public Health's session proposal "Beyond Healthcare Forum: Charting the National Healthy Communities Platform" was accepted for the 2017 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference. The intention of this session is to unify all existing efforts to advance the healthy communities movement under one creed. It is also intended to identify and disseminate existing healthy communities tools available to practitioners working on aspects related to the built, natural and social environments at the local, state and national levels.


The forum's title was inspired from the Beyond Healthcare Conference, held in Toronto, Canada in 1985. Dr. Trevor Hancock was the main organizer and Dr. Len Duhl delivered the keynote address to an international audience of medical health professionals that focused on his seminal "Healthy Cities" paper.

For more than a decade, the Riverside University Health System--Public Health (RUHS-PH) has positioned itself as one of the leading local organizations in California fortifying the healthy communities movement. In partnership with other Riverside County departments, such as Planning, Transportation and Environmental Health, etc. and a vast network of planning, public health and non-profit organizations, RUHS-PH continues to explore opportunities to expand greater understanding of the social determinants of health and foster action to improve health outcomes.

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