Adaptations Elsewhere

External Adaptations

The Sustainable Communities Index (SCI) has been adapted for uses by community-based organizations, academics, policy-makers, and others outside of San Francisco as well.  For example, the SCI was adapted by the City of Richmond to develop a Health Element for their General Plan, by Humboldt County as part of their General Plan Update, and by the City of Oakland for its Central Estuary Specific Plan, and by groups in West Oakland for a Health Impact Assessment Checklist. Below are a few additional examples of external applications:

City of Denver

The Denver Housing Authority sponsored a project to customize the Sustainable Communities Index for use in Denver.  The customized Denver SCI, now called the Mariposa Healthy Living Initiative, is intended to promote cross-sector partnerships, to use a participatory approach that values resident and stakeholder experience, and to provide the best available evidence to decision makers for community redevelopment projects.  

The Mariposa Healthy Living Initiative is informing the redevelopment of Mariposa, a 15 acre site in the historic La Alma/ Lincoln Park neighborhood that is being redeveloped into a mixed-income, mixed-use Transit Oriented Development (TOD). The initiative was used to determine site specific health indicators, which became the framework for the 2009 redevelopment master plan by Mithun. The indicators were also coordinated with other health initiatives specific to Denver, and with sustainability performance metrics such as LEED-ND and SITES (Sustainable Sites Initiative). The first phase of construction has been completed and two other sites are now under construction. In 2012, an effort was launched to further integrate health into every aspect of implementation by monitoring progress, refining recommendations, and developing implementation plans. 

The updated Mariposa Healthy Living Initiative now includes campaigns to improve specific health goals; a 2012 status update of all indicators; and the Mariposa Healthy Living Toolkit, which is an implementation guide for practitioners to incorporate health into design, redevelopment, and construction in Denver. A summary and full report detailing this adaptation can be found here and here. For more information, contact .

Galveston, Texas

Following the impact of Hurricane Ike, which damaged or destroyed 70% of Galveston, Texas' residential and commercial buildings, the island has adapted the SCI to a post-disaster recovery scenario. The Center to Eliminate Health Disparities at the University of Texas Medical Branch worked with the local city and county governments, as well as a number of community-based service providers and non-profit agencies to ensure that current rebuilding efforts as well as new ordinances incorporate an assessment on the likely impact on health. Particular challenges include finding up-to-date databases and information sources following the disaster; coordinating with the various partnering organizations, which are all advancing plans simultaneously; and making sure that health stays on the very full agenda. A webpage describing this adaptation can be found here. For more information, contact .

Ciy of Berkeley

From the City of Berkeley (California) approached an adaptation of the SCI as a way to organize baseline data for Health Impact Assessments (HIAs).  Using off-the-shelf software (MS Office, ArcGIS, STATA), HIA developers created and implemented a data model and that guides the collection, analysis, and presentation of data on healthy development indicators into standardized databases, which are the reference for maps, graphs, and even narratives that can be displayed at a customizable website.  The project, called "Community Indicators Tool for Impacts on Health (CITI-Health)", offered an opportunity to do intensive in-reach to potential users at the City Departments of Planning and Development, Information Technology, and Climate Action.  Much was learned in a recent pilot, including the importance of having a data model, the challenge of standardizing indicators, and the need for documenting the many steps involved in data reduction. For more information, contact .

Ciy of Philadelphia

Most recently, the City of Philadelphia adapted the SCI to create their PHILATool (Planning & Health Indicator list & Assessment Tool). PHILATool (“The Tool”) was developed in conjunction with the City Planning Commission (PCPC) during the drafting of Philadelphia2035, the City of Philadelphia’s new Comprehensive Plan (“The Plan”). The Tool matches 20 of The Plan’s objectives to a series of 71 measurable indicators used to measure progress towards each objective. The Tool also incorporates demographic data from the US Census and local data on health outcomes to assist planners, decision-makers, and the general public in understanding the connections between the built environment and public health. The data will support Health Impact Assessments (HIAs) as needed. For more information on the tool, click here. For more information, contact .