The Cuyahoga County Planning Commission, together with the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, have been working since 2010 on the Creating Healthy Communities (CHC) grant funded by the CDC and administered by the Ohio Department of Health.

CHC uses population and evidence-based strategies to create systems, environmental, and policy changes, aimed at reducing the leading causes of death associated with unhealthy behaviors including poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, and tobacco use within a health equity framework in Cuyahoga County and in the targeted communities of Euclid, East Cleveland, and Lakewood.

In 2016-2017, County Planning conducted a Supermarket Assessment and a Community Food Assessment and for the Board of Health. Each study provides detailed profiles and maps of each city and Cleveland neighborhood in Cuyahoga County. Products from both assessments are now available on the Board of Health website, including an interactive map for exploring any part of the County.

Map of food deserts in Cuyahoga County

Looking Ahead

In 2018, County Planning expects to work on:

  • Supermarkets: Develop a responsive inventory of supermarkets to track impacts of store openings and closings on surrounding neighborhoods.
  • Active Living: Analyze the availability of public outdoor basketball courts in the target cities of Euclid, East Cleveland, and Lakewood.

History

Birdseye view of GreenSprout garden first yearOver the past program years, the CHC team (comprised of County Planning and CCBH staff) has worked to improve opportunities relating to active living and healthy eating:

  • Assisted in the establishment of community gardens in targeted communities and in drafting municipal ordinances that are conducive to urban agriculture.
  • Developed the County’s first food desert analysis.
  • Implemented a Healthy Corner Store Initiative that will increase the quality, quantity, and visibility of fresh produce and other healthy items while limiting the visibility of unhealthy items through store redesign and product placement.
  • Active lifestyle and physical activity: Aided in the development of the Safe Routes To School program and community trail networks.