A Health-In-All-Policies Approach Addresses Many Of Richmond Californias Place-Based Hazards Stressors
Author: Jason Corburn, Shasa Curl, Gabino Arredondo
Poor and minority residents of Richmond, California, have faced a host of place-based hazards and stressors such as pollution, gun violence, and a dearth of economic opportunities, all of which have likely contributed to their poor health outcomes. In this article we describe the city’s efforts to reverse its fortunes by embracing a health-in-all-policies strategy for community development. Starting in 2007, the city organized a series of participatory planning projects with residents, community activists, school officials, and other stakeholders to ensure that the city took health equity into account when devising each phase of its new community development strategy. The result was an approach designed to address the social determinants of health by directing development resources toward vulnerable communities and by adopting a health-in-all-policies ordinance. Specific projects focused on improving the built environment and community safety and redirecting government funds to areas of social need. The process has contributed to rising levels of resident satisfaction about personal health, the direction the city is taking, and the quality of neighborhood development. Richmond’s experience suggests that adopting a health-in-all-policies strategy is one way to promote health equity in distressed cities.