General Plan Update


Cities across California are using their general plan update process to respond to the obesity epidemic. Some cities are including a separate health element in their general plan; others are adding health goals and policies in various general plan elements. Approximately 30 cities have added health goals and policies to their general plans.

Cities with Separate Health Elements

City Policy Description
Anderson Anderson's Health and Safety Element Anderson’s health and safety element (2007) includes a public health section that addresses physical activity via mixed-use, transit oriented  and infill development, and access to parks and recreational trails.
Chino Chino's General Plan Chino will include a “Healthy Chino” element in its general plan update with topics including physical activity, nutrition, walkability, public safety, and civic participation.
Fullerton Fullerton's General Plan The public health element of the Fullerton General Plan (2012) has prioritized the following policies to support healthy eating and active living including but not limited to: Farmer's Markets, Community Gardens, Opportunities for Physical Activity, Amenities within a Walkable Distance and Accessible Health Service Facilities. The health element is coupled with a robust bicycle element which work together to create a healthier and more active community
Richmond Richmond General Plan 2030 The City of Richmond adopted Community Health and Wellness Element that includes a walkability standard for healthy food, parks and open space.


Cities with Integrated Health Goals and Policies

City Policy Description
Azusa Azusa's General Plan Azusa’s general plan (2004) contains a number of integrated, well-illustrated elements, including a chapter on the built environment that prioritizes walkability, street connectivity, and mixed use.
Chula Vista Chula Vista's Land use and Transportation Element Chula Vista’s land use and transportation element (2005) includes access to healthy foods, walkability, pedestrian and bicycle safety, and a jobs-housing balance.
Mountain View Mountain View General Plan Update 2030 Mountain View's general plan update (adopted 2012) incorporates community health and well-being into each of the required seven elements. Health related goals and policies encourage complete and safe neighborhoods, and increased access to open space, healthy foods, medical services, public transit, safe active transportation and affordable housing. The update has spurred adoption of pedestrian and transportation master plans. Mountain View was one of the first CA cities to utilize the general plan update to prioritize its commitment to health. 
Paso Robles Paso Robles General Plan 2003 Paso Robles’ general plan (2003) includes detailed land use and circulation elements that prioritize walkability, mixed use, and development along a transportation corridor.
Watsonville Watsonville's General Plan 2005 Watsonville’s general plan (2006) contains new health goals in several elements. The land use element includes a goal to help convenience stores carry fresh produce. The transportation and circulation element includes the goal of providing bus access to grocery stores. The plan also includes goals to work with local organizations to support nutrition and exercise-related activities, the farmers’ market, and community gardens in a section titled “A Diverse Population.

  More City Examples: Click Here


ChangeLab Solutions has developed model policies. See their toolkit, 
How to Create and Implement Healthy General Plans.


Healthy Eating Active Living Cities Campaign Contact Us Submit a Policy Huge Media, Inc. Linda Herman 2018