Guiding Principles for building a Healthy Los Angeles

Plan for a Healthy Los Angeles is guided by the following principles, which were created based on feedback received during the community outreach process and in collaboration with the project’s advisory committees:

  1. Holistic view of health: The Plan for a Healthy Los Angeles will comprehensively analyze all issues that influence health outcomes. The food residents eat, the water they drink, and their access to a quality education and to economic opportunities are important determinants of health. The plan will take into account issues such as the natural environment, public safety and security, and social structure, among others, to ensure that health solutions are comprehensive and sustainable.  The City will identify creative opportunities to incentivize needed health services in communities that are underserved, including the provision of mental health and transitional care for children and adults.
  2. Health in all policies: The City will incorporate health as a goal in all policies, programs, procedures, and actions by working across departments and agencies to ensure that city actions support healthy outcomes.
  3. Make the healthy choice the easiest choice: The City of Los Angeles will work to ensure that the choices available to residents result in positive health behaviors and reduce health impacts. Residents should be able to easily live a healthful lifestyle in their neighborhoods.
  4. Focus on prevention: A preventive and holistic approach to health and wellbeing is an efficient and cost-effective way to use taxpayer dollars to improve community health. 
  5. Take a long-term view of health:  Solutions to chronic health diseases will require commitment and time. Some community health initiatives may produce immediate benefits, while others will require a long-term investment. The City will recognize that it is crucial to support program, policies and actions that produce long-term and sustainable health improvements.
  6. Focus on equity: Los Angeles is a city of great wealth and great poverty. Low income residents and communities of color face a disproportionate share of poor health outcomes. The City will work to improve the health of all residents, with an emphasis on providing resources to areas that are facing the greatest health disparities. 
  7. Community participation: The City will foster a community-driven, participatory process to ensure that residents have an opportunity to shape the vision of a healthy Los Angeles. Community awareness, education, collaboration and participation will be essential components to the success of community-based programs that are implemented to promote better health outcomes.   
  8. Recognize the link between community design and health:  Understanding the role that community design plays in creating health opportunities and obstacles, the City will make land use and design decisions that will promote short-term and long-term health improvements.
  9. Promote active transportation: The City and its transportation system should be configured to promote active transportation. Safe, attractive, and comfortable facilities and programs that promote active transportation can enhance local neighborhoods and help Angelenos meet physical activity guidelines. Active transportation design guidelines can support the creation of neighborhoods where the healthy choice is the easiest choice. 
  10. Recognize the connection between health and wealth, access to opportunity, race, and culture:  Income is the greatest determinant of a person’s health. The city will recognize the historical and political context that has produced income and health disparities in Los Angeles and will use economic development and planning tools to address income inequities.
  11. Innovative leadership: The City of Los Angeles will be a regional and national leader in innovative community health solutions, including health-driven policies and programs for residents and employees.
  12. Build strategic partnerships for health:  Improving the health of Angelenos will require collaborative partnerships. The City of Los Angeles will work with diverse groups to address health issues, including outside government agencies, non-profit organizations, hospitals and health clinics, citizen’s groups, businesses, philanthropic organizations, neighborhood associations, and social service organizations, among others.
  13. Recognize the health benefits of planning for climate change, sustainability, and community resiliency: Health-based community policies and design guidelines can also help address climate change issues, promote sustainability, and create resilient communities that respond to, withstand, and recover from adverse situations. The City will leverage opportunities that have multiple co-benefits.
  14. Education and communication are essential: The City should communicate health information to residents in an accessible and culturally relevant way. Ongoing education is critical to creating positive and lasting behavioral change that will lead to health improvements.  
  15. Respect, promote, and protect diversity:  The City of Los Angeles is home to many diverse cultures and ethnicities.  The City will respect and promote diversity through its programs and policies. Equity will be a top consideration, particularly around issues of community displacement, to make healthful resources available to all residents.
  16. Identify unique considerations across the lifespan of the population:  Health risks and vulnerabilities range throughout a person’s lifespan. Children and elderly are considered vulnerable populations as it relates to health issues. The City will recognize the vulnerabilities that residents face throughout their life and create policies that recognize those needs. 
  17. Incorporate geographic scale and diversity: Los Angeles is a large and geographically diverse place. The City will craft health policies and programs that incorporate the unique geography of its diverse communities.
  18. Measure, track progress, and update: The City will conduct a comprehensive evaluation of its current health status and continually track progress toward achieving its health goals. The City will make this information available to the public, and make decisions on future health goals and policies that are informed by evaluation measures.
  19. Comprehensive economic development: The City’s economic development goals will include a focus on reducing income inequities through the creation of safe, quality jobs. The City will use emerging industries, such as green economic development, to provide access to better economic and commercial opportunities for all Angelenos.
  20. Prioritize public safety: The City will work with community residents, the police department, and elected officials to create safe communities.  Special considerations will be given to ensure that vulnerable populations, such as youth, homeless residents and those with mental health needs, are not criminalized, but rather included in public safety efforts. 
  21. Provide healthy housing: The City will identify opportunities to incentivize quality, healthy and affordable housing for Angelenos at all income levels. The City will ensure that tenants and property owners have access to information on health-based standards of living.  
  22. Improve educational attainment: Education is a critical component of social mobility and positive health outcomes. The City will work in collaboration with LAUSD to identify opportunities to improve educational attainment in Los Angeles.