Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) and Public Health Institute of Metropolitan Chicago (PHIMC) announced the recipients of the 2019 Healthy Chicago 2.0 Community Seed Grants. A total of $150,000 was awarded to six community-based organizations, inc to support locally-driven activities and solutions aimed at improving the built environment to promote community walkability in connection to public transit.
“These Seed Grants support lasting and meaningful health equity, for communities by communities,” said Mayor Emanuel. “It is critical that, as a city, we work to systematically address the health challenges that each community may face. Together, we can support better health for everyone.”
The physical spaces where residents live, work, and play influence health by providing opportunities to be active, maintain social connections, and access resources. Funded projects align with Healthy Chicago 2.0, the citywide plan for health equity, by enabling community partners to lead projects that will help make areas around CTA transit stations safer, more accessible and welcoming.
“Access to transportation is one of the root causes of health,” said CDPH Commissioner Julie Morita, M.D. “We are proud to join forces with Elevated Chicago and community-based organizations to make sure that the routes to transit stations are walkable, so residents can enjoy the full benefits of having an ‘L’ stop in their neighborhood.”
CDPH and PHIMC collaborated with Elevated Chicago for this year’s Seed Grant awards. Elevated Chicago’s mission is to use equitable Transit Oriented Development (eTOD) to achieve racial equity in Chicago’s built environment in order to improve the health, climate resilience, and cultural vitality of people of color living and working near transit.
“By focusing funding around these CTA stations, the Seed Grants will help build community capacity to implement built environment improvements that leverage resources for lasting impact and can be replicated throughout the city,” said Karen A. Reitan, PHIMC Executive Director.
Successful applicants proposed or were guided by community-driven efforts to address barriers to walkability within the half-mile radius of selected CTA stops. Their projects address the experiences of community members who are at higher risk of experiencing displacement due to gentrification or disinvestment.
“CDPH has a keen understanding of the connections between public health and our built environment, particularly in communities of color. We think these grants will make the walk between CTA stations and other community assets more interesting and safe for residents. Ultimately, these grants are addressing inequities deeply rooted in our City, and elevating health indicators for residents by promoting active lifestyles and empowered communities,” said Roberto Requejo, Elevated Chicago Program Director.
South East Chicago Commission was amongst the recipients of PHIMC Seed funding awarded for 2019. SECC will expand their Community Grant Program to fund at least one high-visibility project focused on neighborhood beautification and environmental improvement near the selected CTA stops: Green line 51st, Garfield, and/or Cottage Grove.