A Recipe for Healthy Places

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“A Recipe for Healthy Places,” presents six community-based planning strategies to support healthy eating. In addition to changing the context in which people acquire and eat food, the plan’s strategies seek to foster business entrepreneurism, job growth, gardening, and other spin-off benefits that provide for a healthier city. This plan is an outgrowth of the city’s public health agenda, Healthy Chicago, which was launched by Mayor Emanuel in 2011.

Coordinated by the Departments of Housing and Economic Development, Public Health, and Family Support Services, with support from the Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children, A Recipe for Health Places has been under development since the summer of 2011. More than 400 nutritionists, backyard gardeners, community activists, child care providers, food entrepreneurs, academics, neighborhood residents and others participated in more than two dozen public workshops and forums in developing its strategies.

As a citywide plan adopted by the Chicago Plan Commission in January 2013, A Recipe for Healthy Places will serve as an official roadmap for city planning and policymaking, as well as a guide for groups and individuals seeking to achieve healthier lifestyles through food. Rates of obesity in Chicago have doubled among adults and tripled among children since 1980, which mirrors trends in other urban areas in the U.S. and the country as a whole.