Put Your Small City on the Map

Feb. 2, 2022

City Health Dashboard

Local data is powerful because it allows cities, leaders, and residents to dig deeper into health and the factors that drive health in their cities. It can highlight successes while also illuminating the gaps and challenges facing communities. But access to accurate, local data about health and the social determinants of health has, historically, been a challenge at the city and neighborhood level. The City Health Dashboard has changed that for 750+ cities with a population of 50,000 and larger.

Map - Release Blog

Since day one, the Dashboard has been committed to finding new ways to put data into the hands of smaller cities. In 2020, we partnered with New Jersey Health Initiatives to provide Dashboard data for ten small cities in southern New Jersey, with the goal of helping these cities build their capacity for evidence-based decision making to tackle local health issues. You can read more about our impact in New Jersey here.

Introducing the Put Us on the Map Challenge!

Building on that work, we are excited to announce the launch of the City Health Dashboard Put Us on the Map Challenge - an opportunity for smaller cities to make their case for why their city should be added to the Dashboard.

PUTM Image

The Put Us on the Map Challenge is now open for applications, and we invite proposals from cities, towns, villages, boroughs, and local organizations to add their small city – population 3,000 to 50,000 - to the Dashboard. Up to 10 communities will be selected and added to the website in summer 2022. Applications close on Friday, March 4th at 5pm PST (extended from February 28th). Read on to learn more about the application process, eligibility and timeline for the Challenge.

Who can apply?

Individuals or partnerships from small cities can apply. The application is relatively simple but there will be selection criteria that applicants should read before submission.

  • U.S. municipalities, including cities, towns, townships, boroughs, and villages (within the 50 states) with populations 3,000 to 50,000 can apply.

  • Individuals or teams represented by community members, policymakers, city government leaders and staff, students/student groups, teachers, and others are encouraged to apply. Partnerships showing existing cross-sector collaboration are a bonus. If the applicant is not from city government, please include a letter of support from a partner within a city department. A template letter is provided here.

  • Most important: tell us why local data is important to your city, what you hope to accomplish with the data, and how data will make a difference in your community’s health.

  • Multiple requests for the same city will not improve your chances of being selected. It’s preferred that different groups from the same city demonstrate that they are working together and how the data will help multiple stakeholders.

What will selected cities get?

  • Access to your city’s data on the City Health Dashboard (see the table below for a list of the metrics that we expect will be available initially). Cities will be able to use all the features of the Dashboard, including comparing to other cities, Take Action, and more.

  • Support from the City Health Dashboard team to help you understand and leverage the data in your work.

  • A featured blog or Impact Story on the Dashboard, highlighting how health data makes a difference in your city. Find an example blog and Impact Story to learn more about what these products entail.

Due to underlying data availability for smaller population places, a subset of the Dashboard’s metrics will be available for the selected cities at the time of the website launch this summer. As we update and add other metrics to the Dashboard, the new cities’ data will be updated accordingly. We will be able to present the most recent year of data for the following metrics for all selected cities:

Metric List - Release Blog

Challenge Timeline

The application period will close on Friday, March 4tth, 2022, 5pm PST (extended from February 28th).

Winners will be announced in the spring, with cities launching on the City Health Dashboard in the summer. A special Virtual Office Hours for selected cities will be held shortly after launch to support navigating the site and its features, as well as working together on implementing programs and policies in small cities. The Dashboard team will remain available for cities as they use the data and resources to create change in their communities. Stories from each of the communities will be shared on our site.

This is a unique chance to put your city on the map, and gain valuable public access to neighborhood-level data on health and its drivers for your community. Our goal is to empower local leaders from cities of all sizes to develop solutions to improve health and equity. You can access the application form here.

Please reach out to Samantha Breslin, [email protected], if you have any questions.

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