Today, CityHealth, an initiative of the de Beaumont Foundation and Kaiser Permanente, released its 2023 annual policy assessment of the largest 75 cities in the United States, finding significant progress made by cities advancing health-promoting, prevention-oriented policies that support community health. This year, 46 cities (61%) were awarded overall medals, up from 37 cities (49%) in 2022. More than 43 million people live in a city that has earned an overall medal — an increase of more than 4 million people compared to last year.
The findings suggest that local leaders continue to prioritize health as they seek solutions to a diverse set of challenges — from a lack of affordable housing to mitigating the effects of climate change and extreme weather.
Cities can earn individual gold, silver, or bronze medals in CityHealth’s 12 policy areas, with overall medals awarded to cities earning five or more individual policy medals. The medals are awarded for city laws that meet CityHealth’s policy criteria, which provide an evidence-backed framework that cities can use to help promote health equity and address key public health concerns such as affordable housing, earned sick leave, access to greenspace, and more.
This year, seven cities — Boston, Denver, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Portland, San Antonio and St. Louis — have succeeded in earning overall gold medals. These cities qualified for overall gold by earning at least five gold medals across 12 individual policy areas: Boston, Minneapolis, and Portland earned seven gold medals; and Denver, New Orleans, San Antonio, and St. Louis earned six gold medals. Complete results can be found at cityhealth.org.
CityHealth partners with the Center for Public Health Law Research at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law and other evaluation partners to surveil the laws and policies and rate the cities on their combined quality and quantity of policies in place in the 12 policy areas.