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City Health Dashboard City Types Framework

– The nation’s small and midsize cities (50,000 to 500,000 population) face many of the same health issues that larger municipalities do. Their challenges don’t get the same attention or resources, yet these cities are home to far more people. With support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, City Health Dashboard has developed the new City Types framework to help small and midsize cities’ leaders and their partners understand how health disparities in their communities are driven by social factors such as income inequality and rent burden. The tool defines small and midsize communities into 10 city types: Emerging Cities, Small Stable-Size Cities, Big Metro Exurbs, Smaller Commuter Suburbs, Diverse Ring Cities, Latino-Predominant Enclaves, Working Towns, Regional Hubs, Small Industrial-Legacy Cities and College Cities.

Ten New Jersey communities – East Orange, Jersey City, New Brunswick, Passaic, Paterson, Perth Amboy, Plainfield, Trenton, Union City and Vineland – are featured in the framework.

Access the framework

Making Strides: 2020 State Report Cards on Support for Walking, Bicycling, and Active Kids and Communities

– The Safe Routes Partnership is a national nonprofit organization working to advance safe walking and rolling to and from schools and in everyday life, has developed state report cards that provide a snapshot of how supportive each state is of walking, bicycling, and physical activity for children and adults as of 2020. Accessible through an interactive map, the report cards primarily look at state policy, focusing on four key areas:

  • Complete Streets and Active Transportation Policy and Planning
  • Federal and State Active Transportation Funding
  • Safe Routes to School Funding and Supportive Practices, and
  • Active Neighborhoods and Schools

View report cards by state

View the recording and slide deck of Making Strides 2020: A Look at Our State Report Cards, presented by the Safe Routes Partnership. Participants explored how state policies and actions can create active, resilient and sustainable communities, and the changes the Partnership has seen since releasing its last set of state report cards in 2018.

Health Policy in Brief: A RWJF Collection

– The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation works with many organizations to analyze key issues affecting health in the United States. In the nation’s capital and at the state and local level, the Foundation uses its knowledge and the expertise of its partners to provide policymakers and other stakeholders with analysis, evidence, and potential policy approaches that reach across the political spectrum. To help address the needs of busy policymakers and administration officials, RWJF has developed a collection of health policy briefs that strive to explain key policy issues in a concise format. Within the collection are healthy policy briefs regarding the Foundation’s current areas of focus: Housing and Health, Child and Family Well-Being, Health Care Coverage and Access, and Healthy Food Access.

Browse the collection

Equitable Enforcement to Achieve Health Equity: An Introductory Guide for Policymakers and Practitioners

– Equity-informed enforcement of public health policies can help break the cycles of injustice and inequitable health outcomes experienced by underserved communities, making it essential for policies in areas such as retail licensing, employment, education, and housing. ChangeLab Solutions has developed Equitable Enforcement to Achieve Health Equity, a guide exploring equitable options for administrative, civil, and criminal enforcement in a wide variety of public health policy areas.

By posing a series of questions to consider when drafting, implementing, and enforcing a policy, ChangeLab Solutions’ resource helps policymakers, advocates, and enforcement officials explore 1) the equity implications of traditional public health enforcement tools, and 2) strategies to avoid unintended negative consequences when enforcing violations of the law. Equitable Enforcement to Achieve Health Equity also discusses best practices in design and development of enforcement provisions to help avoid inequitable impacts and promote community health.

Download the guide

Reimagining the Civic Commons’ Measure What Matters: DIY Toolkit

– This DIY toolkit from Reimagining the Civic Commons and Interface Studio includes an Observation Map and a Site Intercept Survey to help neighbors capture and quantify the beneficial impact of public places such as parks, libraries, community centers and trails in their community.

The resources guide the collection of data through observation and interviews with community members about their perceptions of a particular space, demographic data and how the space impacts the surrounding community.

Reimagining the Civic Commons is supported by The JPB Foundation, Knight Foundation, The Kresge Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation.

Download the DIY Toolkit

2020 Census Complete Count Resources for New Jersey

– Our partners across the state have developed resources to support communities in ensuring a fair and accurate 2020 Census, including:

Advocates for Children of New Jersey’s Census 2020 NJ Web site features a statewide Hard-to-Count map for young children, a directory of local Complete Count Committees, in addition to resources for community advocates in both English and Spanish.

The Fund for New Jersey’s Complete Count NJ Web site, which includes interactive maps and factsheets to identify Hard-to-Count (HTC) areas in the state by legislative district, congressional district and demographic population.

The Hard to Count 2020 interactive map by the CUNY Mapping Service at the Center for Urban Research, CUNY Graduate Center, combines national data from multiple Census Bureau sources to show statistics by tract, county, or state on the share of households receiving each type of Census mailing. This resource can support advocates’ efforts to inform residents about what they can expect in 2020.

2020 County Health Rankings Data

– For the past decade, the County Health Rankings have taken the pulse of the nation, showing us where we live matters to our health. The County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program, a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, has updated its web site with new data, state reports, evidence and guidance designed to accelerate community learning and action.

To view the State Report for New Jersey, click here.
Visit the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps web site


Investing in Equitable Urban Park Systems: Case Studies & Recommendations by City Parks Alliance

– City parks provide access to recreational opportunities, increase property values, spur local economies, improve safety, and mitigate stormwater runoff and other environmental threats. With support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, City Parks Alliance is leading a national initiative to research, collect, and disseminate innovative strategies and models for funding parks and green infrastructure in low-income communities. The Alliance’s “Investing in Equitable Urban Park Systems” report  spotlights seven communities that are leading the way in using data-driven approaches to ensure more equitable distribution of funding.

View the Report

“The State of Transportation and Health Equity” Report

– This field scan developed by Smart Growth America outlines the most pressing challenges to health equity facing the U.S. transportation system and the tools and strategies to address them, particularly in small and mid-sized cities and rural communities. Informed by nearly 100 health and transportation experts from across the country and featuring community success stories, the report shows available solutions to advance health equity through transportation.

Read key takeaways and download the full report

New Jersey Department of Transportation’s Complete and Green Streets Model Policy and Guide

– The New Jersey Department of Transportation, with support from New Jersey Future, Jersey Water Works Green Infrastructure Committee and additional partners, released this guide to support municipalities in creating complete streets policies that also incorporate green infrastructure. In addition, the model policy includes language addressing health, economic development and equity, and provides strengthened implementation mechanisms.

Read more and download the guide
View examples of Green Streets in New Jersey

“Community Approaches to System Change: A Compendium of Practices, Reflections, and Findings” and 19 Community Stories from the BUILD Health Challenge

– What does it take to create lasting change when it comes to health in communities? The BUILD Health Challenge® (BUILD) worked with 19 communities across the country over the last two years to find out. Together BUILD sites were able to achieve nearly 60 new systems-level changes that resulted in policy shifts, new funding streams, stronger community leadership, and ultimately improved health outcomes.

Learn about the dynamic programs these sites created to tackle a wide variety of issue areas, including food insecurity and asthma, to lead poisoning and tobacco cessation, and more. The “Community Approaches to System Change: A Compendium of Practices, Reflections, and Findings” and a set of 19 Community Stories highlight the experiences and learnings of each awardee community.

These materials are critical reading for practitioners and leaders looking to move resources, attention, and action upstream—to make meaningful change in the complex systems that affect health in our communities.

Browse the Compendium

Read Community Stories from three BUILD Health Challenge awardees in New Jersey:

Access the complete set of 19 Community Stories

Community Health Workers in New Jersey: The Question of Certification – An Issue Brief

– Community Health Workers are trusted liaisons devoted to community-based problem solving, health education and bridge-building to needed resources and services, especially in underserved neighborhoods. Through outreach, community education, informal counseling and advocacy, they facilitate residents’ access to services and increase health knowledge.

An Issue Brief by the Seton Hall Law School Center for Health & Pharmaceutical Law & Policy explores the current status of Community Health Workers in New Jersey through a regulatory lens. With appreciation of Community Health Workers’ roles in the health care system, this analysis provides recommendations and suggestions for advancing the consideration of state-level regulatory and credentialing options for Community Health Workers in New Jersey.

Read the Issue Brief