The Healthy Cities, Healthy Residents (HCHR) project seeks to create healthier communities by supporting community-based organizations, residents and cities in working together to advance healthy and equitable planning, policies, and neighborhood environments. Currently, HCHR efforts are conducted by organizations in three San Diego County cities, one of which is Vista Community Clinic (VCC) in Vista.
In January 2018, Vista residents celebrated a significant achievement in their project: the installation of a temporary raised pedestrian curb on streets known to be dangerous by Townsite neighborhood pedestrians. With technical assistance from the County of San Diego Public Health Services and City Heights Community Development Corporation, the process included: community training on the importance of active transportation; a needs assessment walk audit with key stakeholders, including City of Vista staff and Councilmember John Aguilera, led by a resident leadership academy graduate and VCC staff; prioritization of the resident’s projects; and meetings between HCHR project staff and City staff members.
The temporary curb is one of two community improvement successes that have resulted from HCHR resident efforts. Last fall, VCC’s community coalition worked with the city to reinstall picnic tables at Luz Duran Park. “We are really accomplishing something for our community. Not only that, but we are demonstrating to our children that it’s necessary to work in community. Now people have a place to sit, " says Casta Garcia, a resident leader who is originally from San Agustin Atenango, Oaxaca, Mexico and who has now been a Vista resident for over 30 years.
Emmanuel Garcia, a Vista High School student and resident leader, says he’s proud of the work he and other resident leaders have achieved. When asked what he’d like to work on next he says, “More trees.”
For more information about HCHR, please contact Adrienne Gilleran, Adrienne.firstname.lastname@example.org.