City Health Dashboard

Over 80 percent of the United States population lives in urban areas, yet for mayors, city managers, and local health officials seeking to drive health improvements, there has been no standardized tool for understanding and benchmarking a city’s performance and relative standing on actionable and widely accepted indicators of health and health risk.

The City Health Dashboard has been built to fill this gap, by measuring and comparing health at the city -- rather than only at the county and state -- level. The project is led by the NYU School of Medicine’s Department of Population Health and the NYU Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service, in partnership with the National Resource Network and sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

By presenting the evidence necessary to understand population health status and its actionable determinants and allowing ready comparisons across cities, the City Health Dashboard is designed to help city officials and key community and other stakeholders drive improvements in population health. Through the Dashboard, cities can measure and compare health status and health risks in their communities. Twenty-six measures related to health are represented across five domains: Health Outcomes, Health Behaviors, Clinical Care, Social and Economic Factors, and Physical Environment. These domains align with those used in the County Health Rankings and Roadmaps, a well-known program that provides health data at the county level. The pilot version of the City Health Dashboard includes four cities: Flint, Michigan; Kansas City, Kansas; Providence, Rhode Island; and Waco, Texas, and may in the future be expanded to other cities.

Previously, decision-makers and community stakeholders lacked a common framework, mapped to their city's boundaries, for prioritizing health improvement strategies, which is vital not only to containing health care-related costs but also to optimizing economic productivity and community well-being. Since so many factors that influence health and well-being are shaped at the municipal level, it was time to support city-level decision making with a standardized, comparative, and actionable dashboard for health.

The Dashboard is available at cityhealthdashboard.com.