Over the years, San Francisco has been a leader in health informed decision making. Collaboration and partnerships across City agencies have generated innovative policy development to improve our urban environment; address emerging health issues; protect citizens from traffic safety hazards, air pollution, and displacement; and improve opportunities for all residents to work and live in healthy, resource rich neighborhoods. Data has been a key tool in this work.
Since 2007, these policy advancements have been supported by the data of the San Francisco Indicator Project (formerly known as the Sustainable Communities Index (SCI) and the Healthy Development Measurement Tool (HDMT)). The SF Indicator Project is an online framework and data repository that examines how San Francisco neighborhoods perform across eight dimensions of a vision for a healthy, equitable community. The Indicator Project was initially created through the Eastern Neighborhoods Community Health Impact Assessment (ENCHIA) process, a multi-stakeholder assessment project to ensure that land use planning occurring in the Mission, South of Market, and Potrero Hill/Showplace Square neighborhoods took into account, protected, and improved community health.
The eight community well-being dimensions in the SF Indicator Project include: environment, transportation, community cohesion, public realm, education, housing, economy, and health systems. Each dimension contains multiple objectives, (for example “Increase accessibility, beauty, safety, and cleanliness of public spaces” within the public realm dimension), and each objective is measured by one or more indicators. Indicators were chosen because of their importance to the objective, their connection to health, and because granular data was regularly updated and available. Indicators are presented in the form of maps and tables, with accompanying detail on why the indicator is important to health and how to interpret results from a geographic and social equity perspective. Most indicator data sets have also been made accessible on DataSF. In addition to indicators, the SF Indicator Project also provides a library of health evidence, a compendium of policy and design recommendations related to the indicators, and a Healthy Development Checklist to evaluate individual development projects. All of this information is intended to help guide and track healthy and equitable policy making in San Francisco.
Over the years, the SF Indicator Project has been used to provide baseline conditions assessments and plan evaluations for numerous long range planning efforts in San Francisco, including: the Eastern Neighborhoods, Executive Park, the Treasure Island Community Transportation Plan, Western SoMa, HOPE SF, and Central SoMa. The indicators have also been used for other planning and evaluation efforts, such as the citing of a Bernal Heights preschool, the Still/Lyell Freeway Channel Health Impact Assessment, the Road Pricing Health Impact Assessment, the Department of Environment’s Healthy Homes Project, and the Health Care Services Master Plan. Reports from these applications are available here: http://www.sfhealthequity.org. Community groups, academics, and journalists have also utilized this comprehensive data tool for advocacy, research, and communication.
To date, the measurement methods in the SF Indicator Project have been used and adapted by a number of other cities including Richmond, California; Denver, Colorado; Galveston, Texas; Oakland, California; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Geneva, Switzerland.
If you have any questions or need assistance using data from the San Francisco Indicator Project, please contact the SF Indicator Project Manager, Meg Wall Shui at firstname.lastname@example.org.