National League of Cities Names Fort Collins One of 12 Cities of Opportunity

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Emily Wilmsen
Senior Communications Specialist

The National League of Cities has named Fort Collins one of 12 Cities of Opportunity to develop a comprehensive approach to improving community health and wellbeing through economic opportunity, affordable housing and planning.

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The pilot program is part of a national effort to develop multi-sector, holistic, sustainable and equitable policy around health. City leaders are well positioned to advance cross-cutting approaches that address underlying factors of resident health and community wellbeing, according to the National League of Cities.

Other NLC Cities of Opportunity in the pilot are Atlanta; Birmingham, Ala.; Charlotte, N.C.; East Point, Georgia; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Hopewell, Va.; Huntington, W.Va.; Lansing, Mich.; New Orleans; Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.; and Roanoke, Va.

“Fort Collins is a City of opportunity. We are honored to be recognized by the National League of Cities, and we look forward to sharing experiences and best practices with these other communities,” said Mayor Wade Troxell. “This collaboration will help us more closely examine the connection between housing and health to develop new partnerships and funding strategies.”

 The City of Fort Collins is uniquely positioned to address the triple bottom line through its Economic Health, Environmental Services and Social Sustainability departments. The Sustainability Services division assists the municipal organization and the community with improving environmental, economic and social health and assessing factors that impact that health.

Pilot cities will focus on three major factors that affect health, identified through key informant interviews with a diverse group of mayors, councilmembers and other city leaders:

  • Economic Opportunity – the capacity to work and support a family, plan for the future and improve one’s standard of living;
  • Housing – an affordable, safe and healthy place to call home, with access to jobs, schools and community resources; and
  • City Planning & Design – land use and transportation decisions that enable residents to be connected to the people, places, resources and services they need.

With the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the NLC Institute for Youth, Education, and Families is launching the pilot to help city leaders develop and implement robust, integrated action plans for their communities. The pilot cities will come together this October in Atlanta to advance their work together, and NLC will broadly disseminate insights and learnings from the pilot.