Last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Building Healthy Communities (BHC), a new effort to improve public health in some of NYC’s most neglected communities. The initiative, which will have access to $270 million in public capital investments and $12 million in private funding, will focus on improving health conditions in 12 “chronically underserved” communities by increasing physical activity, expanding access to nutritious, affordable food, and upgrading public safety conditions.
The initiative will be focused on communities in East Harlem, Brownsville, Canarsie, Mott Haven, Hunts Point, Morrisania, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Central Harlem, Corona, Flushing, Mariners Harbor, and Stapleton. Building Healthy Communities will work within the 12 neighborhoods to address the ongoing inequities that these communities have long endured.
The neighborhoods chosen for the program were selected because of their lack of proper investment in parks and open space. Not only do these communities have limited access to green space, but they are also in need of nutritious, affordable food options. These unhealthy living conditions have been proven to be connected to all sorts of chronic health problems such as obesity, diabetes, and asthma.
According to de Blasio, the BHC plan will face these problems head-on using a multi-agency effort using public resources, private funding and community-based engagement to focus on revitalizing targeted neighborhoods.
“Today’s public health problems are often complex, requiring broad partnership and collective action across sectors,” said the mayor. “Building Healthy Communities is another step forward in ensuring that every neighborhood has the tools it needs to be healthy and, most importantly, it brings communities together to make the choices that instill a culture of good health.”
Images by NYC Parks via Building Healthy Communities