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Livable Communities


The obesity epidemic has caused significant increases in chronic diseases like coronary heart disease, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes, creating an urgent public health challenge.  Increasing obesity rates and the related community health issues directly affect local governments, through their impacts on health-care costs, quality of life, and productivity at the local level.  Cities, towns, and counties play an influential role in improving residents’ access to healthy foods and their ability to incorporate physical activity into their daily routines through a range of policies and program as well as with their land use and zoning authority.

From 2007-2009, ICMA partnered with the National Association of Counties (NACo) and the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) to form the Healthy Communities Network, which promoted collaboration among local governments and school district on addressing childhood obesity. This work was funded by Leadership for Healthy Communities, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that supports state and local government leaders in efforts to reduce childhood obesity through public policies that promote active living, healthy eating, and access to healthy foods. 

ICMA is has also addressed issues related to community health through the following programs:

Employee Healthcare—ICMA and CIGNA are working together to help local government stem the rising cost of healthcare.

Employee Mobility— Runzheimer International and ICMA are working together to provide knowledge resources about employee mobility as part of the association’s commitment to more sustainable communities.

For more on Healthy Communities, visit the following Knowledge Network topic pages: