Shape Up Somerville: City on the Move
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Shape Up Somerville: City on the Move

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Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone's presentation at the 5th Annual Weitzman Symposium

Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone's presentation at the 5th Annual Weitzman Symposium

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  • Talking points – Make sure to stress how this extends well beyond the schools – new parks, SomerStreets, changing the physical infrastructure of the city to encourage biking and walking.
  • Talking points – Stress health equity, if the city didn’t take action an entire bloc of our population could be left behind in terms of living healthier lifestyles.
  • Through community based, environmental intervention (LISTED ABOVE), the SUS study effectively reduced weight gain and BMI in a group of high risk children
  • Results: Somerville Middle School and High School students have demonstrated improvements in several physical activity benchmarks. From 2003-2007 moderate physical activity five times per week among middle schoolers increased from 18% to 27%. Middle schoolers receiving instruction on nutrition and fitness in school increased from 59% to 78% (2003-2007). Middle schoolers spending 2 hours or less each day watching TV or videos increased from 54% to 61% (2003-2007). Moderate and vigorous physical activity for Somerville high school students is on the rise. Moderate physical activity five times per week increased from 16% to 21% (2004-2006). Vigorous physical activity three times per week increased from 48% to 54% (2004-2006).
  • Talking – Consequential connectivity of policy decisions. Public health is not something you achieve through a single department in the city. It is the result of mobilizing the entire community.
  • Talking points – We learned the hard lessons about how becoming automobile-reliant and a place where people passed through rather than stopped can undermine a community.
  • Talking points – We’re looking to go back to the kind of transportation mix that helped build our city in the first place. Mention the Community Path, eventually linking Boston with many western suburbs as part of a modern bicycle/pedestrian superhighway. Emphasize how environmental improvements must be part of the equation.
  • Talking points – 10 new miles of bike lanes in 2010, more than double what Somerville had before this year. If we want people to change their behaviors, we have to rethink our public places and streetscapes.
  • Talking points – Pain picture of how Union Square has been rethought, stress diversity in local community.
  • Talking points – Mention ice rink and vision for taking over recreational spaces from state.
  • Talking points – Give tips on getting public money (e.g. eye-catchers that have helped Somerville secure federal and state money).
  • Talking points – Mention the overwhelming response to dog parks. Tell story about how many trees were in Somerville when you were a kid.
  • Talking points – When I was in high school, the federal government tried to convince people ketchup was a vegetable. We’re going to make sure we do better by our children. Mention Michelle Obama here.
  • Talking points – Kids will care about better nutrition and healthier eating if the community shows it cares.
  • Talking points – Build on previous slide, stress that good nutrition extends beyond the schools and into the local restaurant community. Note that this program fits right in with all the small, international restaurants located in Somerville.
  • Talking points – Describe the mix of departments and boards needed to create community gardens (e.g. DPW, zoning, etc.).
  • Talking points – This really does work. You won’t get there in one step, but making good, connected policy decisions will get results.
  • Talking points – Go personal here. Talk about the differences you see in the community since you were a kid.
  • Talking points – You only get one lifetime to change the world for the better. You only get to raise your children one time.
  • Talking points – This is just the steering committee. The list of everyone involved with this effort would stretch on for pages. This is not one department working in isolation.
  • Talking points – Thanks Tufts and CDC for getting started, stress the need to prioritize this in the municipal budget in order to keep it going.

Shape Up Somerville: City on the Move Shape Up Somerville: City on the Move Presentation Transcript

  • 5th Annual Weitzman Symposium: Let’s Get Moving June 10, 2010 Shape Up Somerville: City on the Move 5th Annual Weitzman Symposium Let’s Get Moving: Innovations and Outcomes in Obesity Prevention and Treatment June 10, 2010 Joseph A. Curtatone, Mayor Somerville, Massachusetts
  • Who we are
    • Somerville Demographics
    • Population 78,000
    • Race/Ethnicity
      • African American 7%
      • Hispanic 9%
      • Asian 6%
    • Density 18,780 residents/mi 2
    • Open Space 5.37%
    • Per Capita Income $23,628
    • Poverty Rate 12%
    • Speak language
    • other than English 36%
    • Main languages: English, Spanish, Haitian Creole, Portuguese
    5th Annual Weitzman Symposium: Let’s Get Moving June 10, 2010
  • Shape Up Somerville Shape Up Somerville is a city wide campaign to increase daily physical activity and healthy eating through programming, physical infrastructure improvements, and policy work. The campaign targets all segments of our community, including schools, city government, civic organizations, community groups, businesses, and other people who live, work, and play in Somerville. 5th Annual Weitzman Symposium: Let’s Get Moving June 10, 2010
  • Why Shape Up Somerville?
    • Sound public policy
    • Governing with a long term vision
    • Healthy communities are productive communities
    • Improved quality of life for all residents
    • Reduced health care costs
    5th Annual Weitzman Symposium: Let’s Get Moving June 10, 2010
  • Community Based Intervention:
      • Engaged 90 teachers in 100% of 1-3 grade classrooms
      • Participated in or conducted 100 community events
      • Trained 50 medical professionals (MDs, RNs)
      • Recruited 21 restaurants
      • Educated 811 families through 9 parent newsletters
      • Reached 353 community partners through 6 community newsletters 
      • Reached over 20,000 community members through a monthly media piece (11 months)
      • Recruited every community-based after-school program (14)
      • Developed community-wide policies to promote and sustain change
    5th Annual Weitzman Symposium: Let’s Get Moving June 10, 2010
  • Measuring Our Success
    • First Year Results:
        • In 2003, 46% of Somerville’s 1 st -3 rd grade students were overweight, or at risk of becoming overweight.
        • On average, SUS reduced approximately one pound of weight gain over eight months for an eight-year-old child.
    • Somerville Middle School Students 2003-2007
        • Moderate physical activity increased from
        • 18% to 27%
        • 2 hours or less each day spent watching
        • TV or videos increased from 54% to 61%
    • Somerville High School Students 2004-2006
        • Moderate physical activity increased
        • from 16% to 21%
        • Vigorous physical activity increased from 48% to 54%
    5th Annual Weitzman Symposium: Let’s Get Moving June 10, 2010
  • Comprehensive Plan: What is a comprehensive plan? A vision of what a community wants to become and the steps needed to achieve that vision. Rooted in factual current and historical data. Requires cornerstone components, established in Massachusetts General Law. Includes an extensive process of community involvement that will shape the Plan and put it into action. The Comprehensive Plan: Analysis of Trends Vision for the Future Guidance/Direction/Protection 5th Annual Weitzman Symposium: Let’s Get Moving June 10, 2010
  • Transportation Challenges
    • Lack of Rapid Transit – three commuter rail lines and two transit lines divide Somerville, but only one stop is located within city limits
    • Transportation Infrastructure as a Barrier – Two raised highways, heavy rail, and a maintenance facility divide the city.
    • Congestion – dense network of streets and residential neighborhoods leads to overburdened key intersections and business districts.
    5th Annual Weitzman Symposium: Let’s Get Moving June 10, 2010
  • Transportation Improvements: Transit
    • Seven New Green Line Stops – two located within economic development sites; five integrated into neighborhoods.
    • Assembly Square Orange Line Stop – will serve largest smart growth, mixed use project on eastern seaboard.
    • Dramatically Increased Access – 85% of city will be within ½ mile of rapid transit and bus service will be realigned to complement rail stations.
    5th Annual Weitzman Symposium: Let’s Get Moving June 10, 2010
  • Transportation Improvements: Infrastructure Community Path Extension - combined pedestrian/bike path will run length of city along Green Line rail. Traffic Calming - raised intersections. bumpouts, and improved signage. Bike Lanes - developing cross-town grid Major Roadway Projects - feature reduced travel lanes, expanded sidewalks, increased tree canopy, and street furniture. 5th Annual Weitzman Symposium: Let’s Get Moving June 10, 2010
  • Redeveloping for Smart Growth: Assembly on the Mystic Future Main Street in Assembly Square Future Mystic River Park / Esplanade
    • 66 acre brownfield site
    • 2,100 Residential Units
    • 1.75 M Square Feet of Office
    • 1.07 M Square Feet of Retail
    • River Front Park
    • Bike Path and Ped Amenities
    • Orange Line Transit Station
    5th Annual Weitzman Symposium: Let’s Get Moving June 10, 2010
  • Planning for Smart Growth: Union Square
    • Building a foundation for Smart Growth
    • Zoning Upgrade
    • Increased density around proposed Green Line transit station
    • Incentives for Green Buildings
    • Requirement for Usable Open Space
    • Design Standards that support Pedestrian Oriented first floors
    • Transportation Study (on going)
    • Expand Public Plaza
    • Promote walkability with wider sidewalks
    • Bike lanes and bike amenities
    5th Annual Weitzman Symposium: Let’s Get Moving June 10, 2010
  • Built Environment: Open Space and Recreation
    • Somerville’s Public Parks & Open Spaces are Intensely Used.
    • The City of Somerville is 4.1 square miles .
    • Total public open space is 141 acres or
    • 5.37% of the city.
    • Only 45% (63.52 acres) of the public open space is owned by the City of Somerville.
    • This includes parks,
    • school playgrounds,
    • fields, cemeteries, and
    • other open space lots
    • The City manages
    • 46 parks, playgrounds,
    • and ball fields for
    • residents
    5th Annual Weitzman Symposium: Let’s Get Moving June 10, 2010
  • Built Environment: Open Space and Recreation WHAT : Five-year strategic action plan on record with MA Division of Conservation Services WHY : Used to secure certain state grants , and serves as a public record of City open space data, goals, and strategic vision 5th Annual Weitzman Symposium: Let’s Get Moving June 10, 2010
  • Built Environment: Open Space and Recreation
    • Open Space and Recreation Plan Goals
    • Renovate existing parks and open spaces to improve condition of Somerville’s recreational areas and ensure attractive, safe, and accessible public lands.
    • Secure more land to expand Somerville’s total open space acreage and ensure access to open space in every neighborhood.
    • Analyze and improve access for persons with disabilities to parks and open space, as part of ongoing ADA compliance.
    • Increase tree canopy and green spaces to promote urban health and sustainability, and reduce the heat island effect.
    • Increase Off-Leash Recreational Area (OLRA) opportunities throughout the city, and create a new skate park .
    • Raise the bar for sustainable design and building practices in city parks and open space projects.
    • Reduce brownfields and convert to more desirable uses.
    • Improve accountability and set departmental vision through a series of strategic planning documents .
    5th Annual Weitzman Symposium: Let’s Get Moving June 10, 2010
  • Cycle Kids: Bike Safety and Education
    • Cycle Kids
    • 2010 pilot program in five elementary schools.
    • All elementary schools will participate in 2011.
    • Provides children with the skills and
    • confidence to become lifetime cyclists.
    • Children learn how to ride a bike, road safety skills, bike mechanics and the importance of a healthy lifestyle.
    5th Annual Weitzman Symposium: Let’s Get Moving June 10, 2010
  • Healthy Foods In Our Schools
    • School Food Service follows Massachusetts Action for Healthy Kids Guidelines. Emphasis on lean meats, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy.
    • Produce is sourced locally when in season.
    • No trans fat.
    • No fryolators.
    • No competitive foods or a la carte foods.
    • No vending machines.
    5th Annual Weitzman Symposium: Let’s Get Moving June 10, 2010
  • Healthy Foods In Our Schools Four Somerville Schools Are Certified as USDA HealthierUS Challenge Schools. Our schools are the only schools certified in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts! 5th Annual Weitzman Symposium: Let’s Get Moving June 10, 2010
  • Healthy Foods In Our Community: Shape Up Approved Program Shape Up Approved is a healthy restaurant program designed to help customers identify healthier options when eating away from home. Healthy menu items receive the Shape Up Approved stamp of approval. Healthy meals follow the criteria listed below: Leaner meats Whole grains Fruits and vegetables Low fat dairy Healthy cooking oils Point of purchase signage encourages customers to take half of their meal home and to ask for healthy substitutions for their favorite dish. 5th Annual Weitzman Symposium: Let’s Get Moving June 10, 2010
  • Healthy Foods In Our Community: Farmers’ Markets and Community Gardens
    • Two summer markets
    • 9 CSA drop off sites
    • Summer markets accept WIC coupons and will accept EBT/SNAP this year
    • 2011 Winter Farmers’ Market
    • 8 Community Gardens
    5th Annual Weitzman Symposium: Let’s Get Moving June 10, 2010
  • Does a Policy and Environmental Approach Really Work? Yes! Research has found that if you create a healthier environment, healthier behavior will follow. Here’s an example from Somerville: Researchers from the Institute for Community Health have found that proximity to recreational spaces in Somerville increases the likelihood that middle school students will meet moderate and vigorous physical activity guidelines. The article, titled The role of recreational spaces in meeting physical activity recommendations among middle school students, has been submitted to the Journal of Physical Activity and Health. 5th Annual Weitzman Symposium: Let’s Get Moving June 10, 2010
  • Community Response Here Are Examples of What We’ve Seen in Somerville: Renovated Parks Street Upgrades + Bike Safety & Education Access to Healthy Foods 5th Annual Weitzman Symposium: Let’s Get Moving June 10, 2010
    • Strong and committed leadership at department, executive, elected, and community levels
    • Proven commitment to evaluation processes, reporting, and using data to make decisions
    • Demonstrated experience in working with racial, ethnic and socio-economic diversity in Somerville
    • Small and walkable city
    • Innovative and supportive academic, health care, and business partners
    How we’ve done it 5th Annual Weitzman Symposium: Let’s Get Moving June 10, 2010
  • How we’ve done it: Program Team and Key Partners 5 th Annual Weitzman Symposium: Let’s Get Moving June 10, 2010 “ What's going on there in schools and homes all over the city is nothing short of a revolution. ” – ABC News
  • The Power of Partnership: Shape Up Somerville Steering Committee “ What's going on there in schools and homes all over the city is nothing short of a revolution. ” – ABC News Mayor Curtatone (Chair) Community Action Agency of Somerville East Somerville Main Streets Green Streets Initiative Groundwork Somerville Institute for Community Health Mass Farmers’ Markets Metro Pedal Power Somerville Board of Aldermen Somerville Board of Health Somerville Chamber of Commerce Somerville Communications Department Somerville Community Corporation Somerville Community Health Agenda Somerville Department of Public Works Somerville Health Department Somerville Local First Somerville Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development Somerville Police Department Somerville Public Schools Somerville Physical Education Department Somerville Recreation Department Somerville School Committee Somerville School Food Service Somerville School Nurses Somerville SomerStat Department Somerville Traffic and Parking Department Somerville Transportation Equity Partnership Somerville WIC Somerville Youth Department State Representative Denise Provost The Welcome Project Tufts University Union Square Main Streets WalkBoston 5th Annual Weitzman Symposium: Let’s Get Moving June 10, 2010
  • Shape Up Somerville: Major Sources of Funding
    • Federal Grants
    • State Grants
    • The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Active Living by Design
    • Tufts University and the CDC (2002-2005)
    5th Annual Weitzman Symposium: Let’s Get Moving June 10, 2010
  • Let’s Move!
    • Four Pillars: Healthy Choices, Healthier Schools, Physical Activity, Access to Affordable and Healthy Food
    • Based on Shape Up Somerville model
    • We’re all in this together
    • So Let’s Move!
    5th Annual Weitzman Symposium: Let’s Get Moving June 10, 2010
  • Contact Us Joseph A. Curtatone, Mayor Somerville, Massachusetts (617) 625-6600 www.somervillema.gov