The Power of Greening: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

With an alarming amount of vacant lots present within their city, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS), along with other community and municipal partners, have developed a program to clean, green, and maintain these vacant lots in order to improve their community and health. In order to provide evidence that improvement of these vacant lots has positive effects on the community and health, PHS began a 10-year long longitudinal study comparing vacant lots against treated lots.

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Food from the Farm – Promoting Healthy Eating in Kindergarten Classrooms: Kansas City, Missouri

In Kansas City, Missouri, schools are undertaking a new approach to improving the health of children as well as their families. Dubbed "Food from the Farm," this program is aimed at teaching kindergarteners about healthy foods and healthy eating, providing them with the necessary tools to make the healthy choice. The aim of Food from the Farm is to connect kindergarteners and their families to local farmers as a means to encourage eating local fruits and vegetables and to help kids understand where food comes from.

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Active Living by Design – Slavic Village Development: Cleveland, Ohio

Slavic Village Development (SVD) is a community development corporation located in Cleveland, Ohio that works with the Broadway neighborhood. With a population consisting of mostly working class, middle to lower income families, Slavic Village Development was faced with the challenge of improving a community that undergoing increasing foreclosures and perceptions of a lack of safety. In 2003, SVD received a grant from the Active Living by Design program to begin an initiative to rebrand Broadway as "a community on the move."

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Reducing Toxic Pollution in West Oakland, CA

For two years, West Oakland residents and community partners worked to research and identify seventeen indicators to monitor environmental, health, and social conditions for their neighborhood. Residents then used the data in the indicators report to issue a formal request that the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) develop stronger regulations requiring the Red Star Yeast factory (the area's second leading source of toxic emissions) to reduce both pollution and noxious odors. The evidence in the report was also used to build media advocacy, testify at public hearings, and to garner letters demanding regulation and enforcement from the Department of Public Health and local elected officials. The combination of evidence and pressure led BAAQMD to remove the exemptions that had grandfathered Red Star Yeast into antiquated emissions standards.

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Chicago’s Legislation to Limit Restrictive Land-Use Covenants

Believed to be the first ordinance of its kind, Chicago's legislation to limit restrictive land-use covenants prevents supermarkets and drugstores from restricting future use of vacated property in the event of store closures. This ordinance holds great promise to prevent neighborhood blight and promote residents' continued access to fresh, healthy food retailers.

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