Empowering Small Communities: City Health Dashboard’s Mission to Democratize Health Data

February 7, 2024 - (2 min read)

By Samantha Breslin, Program Supervisor, City Health Dashboard

When you think about health in your city or neighborhood, what comes to mind? Is it the availability of safe, affordable housing? The presence of clean air free of harmful pollutants? Walkable neighborhoods that empower physical activity? Or jobs that pay a fair wage, allowing residents to meet all their household expenses and afford necessary medical care? 

Housing, the environment, employment, and other social and economic factors are necessary components of a resilient, healthy community, but access to accurate, local data about health and the social determinants of health has, historically, been a challenge, particularly for smaller cities. Since 2018, the City Health Dashboard has been working to provide communities, both big and small, with free, reliable, and actionable data on health and its drivers to support their journeys towards better health. We originally launched the site for the nation’s 500 largest cities but have continued to expand our reach to provide data for a growing number of smaller and smaller places. 

For communities across the country, data has the power to drive change and we view the City Health Dashboard as an essential resource for cities and their leaders. This is why we started the Put Us on the Map Challenge, an opportunity for small cities to apply to get their city on the map. Over the last two years, we have accepted and added 96 cities to the Dashboard website through this initiative and we are excited to announce that the third annual Put Us on the Map Challenge is open!   

For small cities with populations of 1,000 to 50,000, this is an opportunity to get free access to 30 metrics on health, its drivers, and health equity on the Dashboard, as well as all of its features.

What is the Put Us on the Map Challenge and Who Can Apply?

For small cities with populations of 1,000 to 50,000, this is an opportunity to get free access to 30 metrics on health, its drivers, and health equity on the Dashboard, as well as all of its features.

The Dashboard welcomes applications from cities, towns, villages, boroughs, and local organizations with populations 1,000 to 50,000. Teams comprised of community members, policymakers, city governments, health department staff, students, teachers, and others are encouraged to apply. The application period will close on Friday, March 1st at 5 pm ET, and the selected cities will be added to the Dashboard during the summer of 2024. For complete information about the Challenge, eligibility, and timeline, read more here.

What Are the Benefits of Joining the Dashboard?

Our goal is to empower local leaders from cities of all sizes to develop solutions to improve health and equity. As an accepted city, here is what you can expect from us:

  • Access to your city’s data on the City Health Dashboard, including up to 30 health metrics as well as access to more metrics as they become available.
  • Cities will be able to use all the features of the Dashboard, including a comparison tool to gauge health across cities, a curated list of Take Action resources, and more.
  • Support from the City Health Dashboard team to help you understand and leverage the data in your work.


Don’t miss out on gaining valuable public access to neighborhood-level data on health and its drivers for your community. Apply now to put your city on the map. Applications to the challenge close on March 1st.

Unlocking the Power of Health Data for Small Cities 

To learn more about the Put Us on the Map Challenge, including eligibility criteria, Dashboard use cases, or tips for getting your application to stand out, join the City Health Dashboard team for an insightful webinar exclusively for NLC members on Wednesday, February 14th, at 2 pm ET.

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